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UPDATE: CITY CONTINUES TO RESPOND TO WIND EVENT

For immediate release: February 1, 2015 - 4:48pm
FR14-102

Environment Canada forecasts the extreme gusts and winds in Saskatoon and area to drop off over the evening to more moderate levels after 10:00 p.m.  However, evening temperatures are expected to drop which increases the likelihood of slippery road conditions.  Sanding crews will be working on priority roads overnight and into the early morning hours.  Please give yourself extra time when traveling, as it will take time to cover the city with sand once temperatures start dropping.  
City staff responded to a number of service disruptions or operational challenges throughout the day.  An Emergency Level 1 Alert allowed for the sharing of information across civic departments and divisions.  The City continues to be in contact with other external agencies which have not requested support at this point.
The following is an update on the City of Saskatoon services:

Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P)

SL&P staff have been reasonably able to keep up with outages and is not anticipating any long-term outages at this time. Although wind speeds are anticipated to drop over the evening, power outage may still occur.  Please contact (306) 975-2621 to report a power outage.  Crews will continue to respond, determine the cause and make repairs as necessary and safe to do so. Updates will continue to be provided through Service Alerts and on Facebook and Twitter.
 

Transit
Saskatoon Transit routes are currently on schedule and not experiencing any significant delays.  There are no anticipated delays for transit service for the sold out Pink! Concert or morning services.

 

Public Works
Snow & Ice
As Environment Canada forecasts a falling temperature and over the evening, Public Works has the following operational plan in place:
Ten tandem sanders and four one-ton sanders are available to address deteriorating road conditions should the City experience freezing rain and/or snow.
If wind is the only weather issue, sanders will still be utilized to address the road conditions.  Wind can ‘polish’ the roadways to an icy surface.
The City has sufficient sand and salt supplies to address the conditions.
Area contractors (grader crews) and developing neighbourhood contractor loaders have been alerted to be prepared to mobilize, should the City experience snowfall or significant drifting conditions.
Additional staff will be available on Thursday, January 16 to augment crews with pre-scheduled load-out locations. They can also be utilized for addressing any resulting snow/freezing rain/drifting conditions.
The regular crew shift is on tonight and will be re-deployed as required to address potential storm conditions. Public Works will call in additional staff if required.
Saskatoon Landfill
The Landfill closed at 1:30 p.m. to the general public due to high winds and the associated safety concerns. It is anticipated the Landfill will be open to the general public on Thursday, January 16. However, should conditions change and the Landfill is to remain closed, the City will advise residents through a Public Service Announcement and through Facebook and Twitter. 
Recycling and Garbage Collections
By nature of what is in the recycling carts, they tend to be light-weight and the heavy winds are blowing many of them over. However, Loraas Recycling continued with collection as scheduled today.  Operators turned carts upright for collection and picked-up as much material on the ground as possible in these windy conditions.
Garbage collection continued as scheduled today in Eastview, Hampton Village, Stonebridge, Westview and Wildwood.  The heavy wind was blowing some of these carts over as well, and operators turned them upright where possible in order to collect them, but may have missed isolated areas. If your garbage was not collected today as scheduled, garbage collection will resume tomorrow, Thursday, January 16.  Residents are asked, if they can, to bring carts in and out of the wind, and place them out again by 7:00 a.m. for collection tomorrow.
Many residents today picked up overturned carts and cleaned up the material that spilled.  Thanks for keeping our city beautiful. 

Parks

A number of calls were received by Parks crew regarding damage to City trees.  Tree damage assessment teams were out in the field responding to the calls and prioritizing responses and service by assessing level of hazard. Crews will continue to address high priority hazardous or potentially hazardous situations over the evening.  Other reports regarding damanaged trees will be addressed during regular business hours.  If public has a significant concern, please call the 24-hour Public Works hotline at 306-975-2476.
Transportation
The is a traffic signal pole that was downed at Central Avenue and Attridge Drive will have to be replaced by crews in the morning when the wind is at a safer level. All other traffic signals are now operational with power restored.
Information for Residents and Visitors

The City would again like to remind residents to keep safety a priority during extreme weather events such as this one.  In an emergency, residents are to phone 911 for immediate assistance.
Should a power outage affect traffic lights, please remember to treat intersections as a four-way stop, pull over and call 306-975-2981 to report the outage.
Residents are also reminded to avoid all downed power lines, and call 306-975-2621 to report a live wire emergency.
Additionally, the City recommends residents look at their trees and property during the daylight hours to ensure the area is safe.
Unless there are unusual conditions overnight, the next update from the City will be tomorrow morning at approximately 9:30 a.m.  Over the evening, please continue to watch for more information on Service Alerts.
For more City of Saskatoon Public Service Announcements, News Releases, Traffic Detours and Service Alerts, visit www.saskatoon.ca or connect with the City of Saskatoon on Twitter and Facebook.