Britain calls up Winnipeg for Snow Help

Discussion in 'Offbeat News' started by Smelnick, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    I heard on the radio this morning, that in light of their recent heavy snowfall, Britain called up the mayor of my hometown, Winnipeg, to get pointers on removing snow. So when I got home, I looked for an article online about it to share with you guys.

    Katz fields calls from London on how to cope with snow dump - Portage Daily Graphic - Manitoba, CA

    Katz fields calls from London on how to cope with snow dump

    Posted By The Canadian Press

    Posted 5 hours ago

    WINNIPEG — When London gets walloped by a rare dump of snow, English journalists lie back and think of Winnipeg.
    Both The Guardian newspaper and the British Broadcasting Corporation had the Manitoba capital on the brain after a blanket of snow wreaked havoc on traffic, business and public transportation across the southern U.K. earlier this week.
    On Monday, BBC Radio 4 called up Mayor Sam Katz to inquire how Winnipeg manages to clear snow when London can not.
    ‘‘Their city has basically been shut down. They wanted to know how (we) deal with it. There was a public outcry and they wanted to blame somebody,’’ Katz said Tuesday.
    On the air, Katz graciously told BBC listeners that Winnipeg is adept at snow-clearing because the city is accustomed to wintry weather and has equipment at the ready.
    London, which is usually rainy in early February, should not be faulted for failing to respond to unusual weather, Katz suggested.
    ‘‘We know what happens in this city. We’re very well prepared,’’ Katz said.
    But a columnist with The Guardian did not feel London should be left off the hook so easily.
    ‘‘Other cities — Winnipeg, say, Moscow or Bergen cope with snow, subdue it and go to work through impeccably gritted roads. London isn’t like that,’’ Stuart Jeffries wrote in the newspaper’s Tuesday edition.
    ‘‘London was so hobbled by the snow (Monday) that the situation was even worse than hopeless: Usually six million Londoners get to work by bus; yesterday there were no buses; the tube was even more spectacularly unreliable than usual. Even gnarly cyclists in all kinds of crypto-pervy winterwear were laid low.’’
    Katz said he isn’t quite sure why the British media think of Winnipeg when they get hit with snow, as other North American cities receive far more over the course of a normal winter.

    Ottawa, for example, receives an average of 203 centimetres of snow every year, almost double Winnipeg’s average annual tally of 111 centimetres.
    Winnipeg is merely blessed with North America’s most efficient snow-clearing crews, Katz said before taking a shot at Toronto.
    ‘‘Other cities in North America, unlike Winnipeg, have had to call in the army when they have a problem,’’ he said.

    [email protected]

    A bit of explanation on how we keep ready is in order I suppose. Come the fall, all the snow clearing machinery gets shipped into town. Different companies with people who know how to drive this equipment are contracted to do the clearing. Then, anytime it snows, all the snow clearers work overnight to clear all the snow. Each company is assigned an area based on a well thought out plan, and each company assigns a specific person for specific streets. All of them clear at once, and the snow is all cleared by the morning.

    I figured that it would make a good discussion too. How ready do you think your town would be if you got a massive dump of snow? Do you think that Britain should have been more ready?
    PretzelCorps likes this.

  2. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    I did find that incredibly funny. But hey its kinda cool to see that they had enough common sense to ask a nation that handles snow and ice on a regular basis how to handle it rather than just letting their citizens go about all wrecklessly and just causing all kinds of trouble.

    I also found the article pretty cool, I didnt realize how much effort actually went into snow control :hah:
  3. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Like I said in the other thread, when it doesn't normally happen then you don't prepare for it that much. We got lesser snowfall back in 2003 and the city was paralysed. :lol: STORY HERE. That was 3 inches of snow. Last week we had maybe 2 inc max and it still didn't stop the people from panicking or the operations getting disrupted. I can imagine it will just get worse for heavier falls. I think if needed, we'd first get help from the ones living by the Alps who are used to snow. Canada does have a reputation for managing snow easily.
  4. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Its not economicaly viable to be overly prepared for it.

    On the high ground(tops of mountains) it snows every year, on the middle ground(the hills) it probably snows every 2-3 years, on the low ground it snows probably once every 3-4 years. As most of the UK populous(est 85%) of it is on the lowlands then snow is a rare thing. When it does snow in most areas it rarely exceeds a few days or a few inches. The UK is an island in a relatively warm climate(for its latitude), you are never more than 75 miles from the sea so for the snow to form it needs a fairly unusual weather pattern.

    The other big difference between the UK and many other area in the world(Winnipeg) is that the UK is very highly populated, it has a complex and condensed transport system with a relatively small area hosting thousands and thousands of miles of road, (Ive investigated I cant find a solid answer but it looks to be around 200,000 miles servicing some 60 million people), that giant web of roads need clearing for the country to function properly. That is a mammoth task, we are on our second snowfall of the winter and many areas are already running out of Grit and most areas only have a handful of plows simply because we dont need any more than that for the other 999 days of the 1000.

    When I would drive in Germany, France, Italy and places I would always carry snow-chains with me. Ill tell you now most people in the UK would not know what snow-chains are!:lol:
  5. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    Its true, I don't blame them for not being prepared. However, if that's the second time in 5 years that they've had something like this happen, they should definitely develop an 'in the event of' plan. Obviously, storing a bunch of heavy snow moving equipment in town when you never get that much snow isn't realistic. However, finding a bunch, and setting things up so you can get them shipped in, in the event of a heavy snowfall, would definitely lesson the time that the town would be 'paralysed' so to speak. So yah, I don't blame them for being unprepared, but if they don't develop some kind of plan for possible future events as such, then I'll blame them next time =P
    Lol, I know what snow chains are, but I could never be able to tell you how to put them on. Manitoba is all flat land, and snow chains are only really useful when you're going up hills. So Ontario and British Columbia probably get alot of use =P
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  6. pro2A

    pro2A Hell, It's about time!

    It's funny... we could get a foot, have it shoveled out in a day and back to work. It's funny watching people who never get snow go into cardiac arrest when they get an inch or two.
  7. Bliss

    Bliss Sally Twit

    We definitely need help. I heard earlier (through word of mouth) that they are refusing to use grit on the streets and are only using it on the main road.
    Hello?? How are people supposed to go on the main roads if they can't move off the damn street?
  8. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    I agree with Pro, I know we are better prepared than the Europeans when it comes to snow, because he in Canada were use to it. But it's funny seeing a Country calling Winnipeg to ask how they handle the snow. Hopefully they'll be more prepared next time it happens.
  9. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    Wow, the sand trucks even come down the rural roads, and those hardly get used. Is it because they have a shortage of grit? Cause I know here they do all the streets, but in order of priority. All the main highways and roads first, then the residential streets, and then the back lanes and side streets and stuff, parking lots etc. Out in the country(aka rural area) they do all the highways and then the gravel roads, and then ..wait, that's all there is =P
  10. Pugz

    Pugz Ms. Malone V.I.P. Lifetime

    I couldn't get out of my road for two days-so i haven't bothered to try but it has been amusing to watch the neighbours give it a go; hopefully i can get out this weekend.

    I think the North was more prepared than the South. London apparently came to a standstill but up here the gritters were about and main roads at least were fine-they still are.

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