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Gander preparing for another mess as warm weather and rain forecast threatens flooding

With temperatures above zero degrees and a forecast of rain for the weekend, the Town of Gander has made opening storm drains a priority.
With temperatures above zero degrees and a forecast of rain for the weekend, the Town of Gander has made opening storm drains a priority.

GANDER - As the Town of Gander cleans up from the mess left by recent back-to-back storms, it’s preparing for what could be another mess as a result of warming weather.

Temperatures are above zero degrees and 10-20 mm of rain has been forecasted for the weekend by Environment Canada.

The main focus of the town has been to widen out roadways, to open up street to two lanes, which has been quite time consuming according to mayor Claude Elliott.

“I understand that people are frustrated, and we ask that they be patient a little longer because progress is being made,” said Elliott. “We are hopeful that by the end of the weekend most everything will be cleared away.“

Three of the town’s snowblowers have been handling the bulk of the roadwork, however, one had to be pulled from service on Thursday because of a broken part.

Gander has allocated $927,000 for 2017 snow clearing. How much of allocated funds were spent over the last week is not yet known.

“Once we get all the figures in for costs such as fuel, overtime and so forth, we’ll have a better idea,” said Elliott. “It will probably be another month before we know exactly how much it has cost us.”

Once thing he does know, it’s looking to be a “hefty” bill.

Potential for flooding

Elliott has his fingers crossed that a forecast of rain will be limited.

“If we don’t get much rain the mild weather should allow the snow to melt without too much trouble,” he said. “If we do get rain it could result in flooding.”

However, town employees are doing their best to be prepared for the worst.

Elliott said the plan is to use the town’s snowblowers to open up storm drains.

“Hopefully that will take care of any blockages that might be there, that’s our priority now,” he said.

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