Mountains of the white stuff


Two December blizzards, followed by a pair of snowstorms, have heralded a new year rife with the white stuff.

And it’s turning into a veritable mountain.

That’s according to the guys at Pugh’s Sand and Gravel, who have been super busy helping to move the snow out of town.

“We haven’t seen snow like this for at least ten years,” said a spokesman for Pugh’s. “We have a snow mountain out at the north side of town, and it’s now ten to twelve feet high. We have a guy up on top on our track-hoe – that’s an excavator with tracks – and he’s busy lifting up the heaps of dumped snow from our trucks down on the ground, and throwing them behind him. We haven’t had to do anything like this before.”

The Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain says it’s been a bit of a ride with all the snow accumulation, but residents have been pretty good on the whole coping with it.

“The phones have been ringing for sure, mostly just with people requesting to have certain areas opened up, or wondering where the plows are running that day,” said Meghan Cuvelier Klassen, new finance manager for the municipality. “For the most part I think everyone understands that we are doing our best, and in fact we’ve had lots of people showing appreciation for the extra hours the public works have been putting in.”

Despite the increased hours, the Municipality of Killarney – Turtle Mountain may still come in on budget, thanks to the balmy weather we enjoyed up until early December, she added.

“We had $210,000 budgeted for snow removal in 2016, and with the minimal amount of snowfall at the beginning of the year, we are still in good shape to come in on budget for the end of 2016,” said Cuvelier Klassen.

Moving their cars and trucks off the streets after snow has fallen is one way residents can help the municipality vehicles and the Pugh’s gang get the job done, she said.

“We haven’t had a winter like this in a couple years, and the snow accumulation has been keeping us busy,” said Cuvelier Klassen. “The Public Works staff have been working very hard to keep on top of it, and we certainly appreciate any help that the public can give to us by keeping vehicles off of the streets following a large snowfall so we can clear them quickly and safely.”

Road conditions have been trying at times with deep drifting snow, while many livestock farmers have been struggling to keep gates open and access to bales free, and to keep their animals fed and warm.

In places the snow is now so deep that livestock could simply walk out – if they wanted. Most are staying put, however, because what’s out there is simply more snow.

And repeated minus 30 degree temperatures are taking a toll on machinery and the human body.

However, weather forecasters are now predicting a warming trend this weekend, welcome news for everyone (on two legs or four) in town and country.

PILED HIGH – Manitoba Highways employee Rick Green piles the white stuff high at Killarney’s “snow dump” just north of West Glen Bay and east of the TLA West elevator (background). The snow range pictured accounts for only the snow removed from Broadway Avenue and Finlay Street.


MOUNDS OF TOWN SNOW – A Pugh’s Sand and Gravel truck heads out for another load of snow after unloading its contents at Killarney’s “snow dump” beside West Glen Bay. The seemingly endless supply of the white stuff continues to pile up at the site – quickly turning the mounds into mountains.