Record snow hits Thompson, prompting city's biggest clearing operations since 2017, Canada

Record snow hits Thompson, prompting city's biggest clearing operations since 2017, Canada

The city of Thompson, Manitoba has set three new daily snowfall records from April 2 to 7, 2020, leading to the Canadian city's biggest clearing efforts since the blizzard of March 2017.

On Thursday, April 2, 15.6 cm (6.1 inches) of snow fell, the most since 1995 with 6.8 cm (2.7 inches).

On Friday, April 3, the city registered 34.4 cm (13.5 inches), beating the previous record set in 1967 with 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) -- 28 cm (11 inches) difference. This was also higher than any day in April up to 2010. The previous record for the highest one-day amount was 22.6 cm (8.9 inches) and the average for the month of April was 23 cm (9 inches) up to 2010.

On Tuesday, April 7, 12.8 cm (5 inches) of snow fell, almost twice the previous record of 6.5 cm (2.6 inches) set in 1981. On the ground, there were 87 cm (34 inches) of snow, the most since 1967 which was the first year of Environment Canada historical records available online.

The normal amount of ground snow at the end of March is 45 cm (17.7 inches), roughly more than half of what Thompson received. The most snow on the ground in Thompson was 91 cm (35.8 inches), set in January and February 1968 and April 1967. Between April 2 and 7, the accumulated snow was 65.6 cm (25.8 inches).

Snow in April is not unusual in the country, said Environment Canada, although large amounts may be a little rare. The massive snow dump this year was due to low-pressure systems over central and Northern Manitoba, which generated variable weather and significant snowfall at times.

The City of Thompson said on its website that crews worked 40 hours to clear the snow Friday to Sunday, April 3 to 5. The clearing operations included all of the city's graders and loaders, as well as all of its bobcats from public works and recreation departments, and two plow trucks that were not usually used for snow cleanup.

"This is the largest snow-clearing action our crews have undertaken since the blizzard of 2017," it stated. The last time plow trucks were used was during that event.

"The only alternative is that these streets remained unplowed until graders reach them, which means vehicles will get stuck or damaged, including emergency vehicles."

"Our firefighters and paramedics can respond to emergencies regardless of windrows, but they cannot respond to emergencies when their vehicle is stuck two kilometers away from the scene, or when the road is blocked by another resident’s vehicle. These snowfalls do not come every day in Thompson."

Mayor Colleen Smook, meanwhile, took to social media to address complaints about the pace of the snow-clearing operations.

"Our Public Works crew has gone above and beyond," Smook stated. "Have we got every street done? No. But with two major snowstorms four days apart, and only so many bodies and even less equipment, they are doing the best they can."

Featured image credit: deanspic/Flickr

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