Elmwood resident accuses city of ‘lack of care’ after snow clearing damages boulevard

A resident of Elmwood says she wants action from the city of Winnipeg after snow removal clears more than snow from her boulevard.

Tracy Hunt says she heard crews clear the street early Sunday. When she went outside the next morning, she was horrified to find that her boulevard had become a jumble of dirt and snow.

“I was devastated,” she said. “They sheared it off completely down to the black earth.”

Hunt said she waited more than an hour on the city’s 311 hotline to file a complaint. When she reached a representative, Hunt said the response was disappointing.

The city representative told her someone would come out in the spring to assess the damage, Hunt said. But that doesn’t help her now to clear with a heavy mix of frozen dirt, grass, and snow.

“It’s just going to make the rest of the winter really tough,” said Hunt.

In an email statement sent to CBC News on Tuesday, a city spokesman said it is not uncommon for plow damage to occur early in the snow removal season when the boulevards are not completely frozen.

Since November 11, when the city had its first major snowfall of the season, there have been 211 reports of damaged boulevards and curbs due to snow removal equipment, the spokesman said.

After clearing the snow, inspectors will review any curb or boulevard damage, and will also review locations that the city has received 311 requests for, the spokesman said.

Not the first time

Hunt said that while the boulevard has been damaged in previous years as well, it’s the worst thing ever.

Damage from road clearance last year tore off one of their estimates that was more than half a meter wide section of the boulevard. City teams re-seeded the area in the spring, but it hasn’t grown back. Hunt said she ended up patching the area with soil and seeds herself.

Hunt wants City of Winnipeg snowplough drivers to be more careful with snow removal. (Submitted by Daraius Gandevia)

“I know it’s the city’s boulevard, but I’m responsible for maintaining it, cutting it, and shoveling my snow,” said Hunt. “That lack of care is unfortunate, you know?”

While Hunt said some damage was to be expected, the recent damage seems negligent to her. She wants the city to clean up the dirt and start growing again next year.

The city usually begins in the spring, when the construction season begins, with repairs to plow-damaged curbs and boulevards, the city spokesman said.

Residents who have suffered personal property damage after clearing snow can report damage by calling 311 or filling out the claim form and sending it electronically to [email protected]

Local residents should provide as much information as possible when filling out a claim, including pictures, estimates and receipts for repairs, the city spokesman said. You should also report the damage to your home or tenant insurance to see if there is personal coverage for the damage.

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