CALGARY (660 NEWS) — When a snowstorm struck Calgary on Oct. 2, 2018, the City was forced to call in reinforcements from neighbouring municipalities including Edmonton, Red Deer, Okotoks and Medicine Hat.
Although the storm was far from being the most expensive in terms of snow clearing cost, it still totalled $2.5 million. Of that, the city paid $210,000 to those municipalities, the bulk of it — 75 per cent — was given to the City of Edmonton who sent its city crews.
Part of the reason that supplemental crews and equipment were needed to deal with the record-setting amount of snowfall was due to the fact that the snow clearing season hadn’t begun yet. The City’s season for winter snow clearing runs from Oct. 15 to May 15 every year, and the snowstorm came at a time when City snow removal contractors were still working on summer road projects.
“That snowfall occurred at a very bizarre time because we basically had contractors out in the field. They were rushing to get their summer construction projects finished before they switched over to winter operations,” Chris McGeachy, city spokesperson, said. “They were ultimately unable to abandon those projects and come and help us with the snow clearing effort.”
The October snowstorm stunned Calgarians by dumping nearly 40 centimetres of snow, wreaking havoc by stalling transit, stranding Calgarians, and causing over 250 crashes across the City.
However, despite the severity of the storm, last year, the most expensive snowstorm occurred in March 2018 — snow removal costs totalled $3.4 million.
READ MORE: Record snowfall blankets Calgary
Data from the City of Calgary shows that 2014 was the most costly year for snow clearing spending compared to the amount that was budgeted for. Known as snowmaggedon, taxpayers footed over $52-million for snow clearing.