After the winter storm wreaked havoc in Manitoba last October 4 thru the next day, the province is now faced with some challenges in putting everything back to normal. In Winnipeg alone, there are estimated 30,000 downed trees on public land and tens of thousands more on private properties. Though clearing is being done everyday, Mayor Brian Bowman said that the clean up process might take months, potentially extending into 2020.
While the city already offered free drop off of tree debris at 4R recycling depots and at the Brady Road Landfill, it may also open Christmas tree disposal sites to accommodate massive clean up.
Councillors were also advised on clearing efforts at priority locations such as main streets and around schools.
With the enormous destruction that is needing quite a process to fix, it will cost the city tens of millions of dollars which is an “unreasonable financial burden” according to Bowman, that moved him to introduce a motion to call on the provincial government to provide disaster financial assistance under the Emergency Measures Act.
Meanwhile, outside Winnipeg, repairs are continuously being done by MB Hydro especially in the hard-hit regions around Portage la Prairie, Neepawa, Dauphin, Ashern, and Arborg.
“This is damage on a scale never before seen in Manitoba,” said Jay Grewal, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “So much of the damages in the hardest hit areas aren’t simple repairs. We are talking about having to rebuild miles of distribution lines, and rebuild sections of our transmission network, including enormous steel towers. The work will continue even after customers are restored, as we make temporary repairs to restore service as quick as possible before beginning work on permanent fixes. Make no mistake, this is a very serious situation,” added Grewal.
The Province of Manitoba still remains under a state of emergency after it was declared by Premier Brian Pallister last October 13th, a move which allowed MB Hydro to invoke aid from neighbouring utilities who are now sending equipment, materials and personnel to assist in the restoration efforts.
In this process of massive clean up and time of restoration, everybody is requested to be patient and proactive, to be alert and informed and to simply… be safe.
Photo credit: City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro