THUNDER BAY – Snow is in the forecast again for Thunder Bay today. However according to Environment Canada there should not be all that much snow. Accumulations of 2cm are expected.
This winter’s cold and snow are generating concern over how the spring melt will impact the city. Frost from the long cold winter is deep into the ground. That is why there have been so many watermain breaks, and frozen water pipes in so many homes.
If the snow melts fast, and the ground remains frozen, there will be likely risk of flooding at many low-lying areas in the region.
The cold weather, which has also generated deep ice on the Great Lakes, with the lakes frozen over for the first time in a long time, will also impact the start of the shipping season.
However frozen rivers, streams and creeks also have the result of meltwater running over the top of the frozen ice, and generating flooding.
The City of Thunder Bay is aware of the risk. City Manager Tim Commisso says, “We have an Emergency Plan for this and all other major events and I will leave it to the Fire Chief to review and initiate any necessary response and or actions”.
Some of the issues that may impact potential flooding in Thunder Bay could include the massive snowbanks in many areas of the city which are also blocking access to the storm sewers.
City officials are saying that at present there is no plans to remove snowbanks, partly due to the cost of the nightly operations.
Mayor Hobbs told NetNewsLedger that the cost of removal of snowbanks is in excess of $100,000.
One might wonder what the cost to the city and the province of a flood in Northwood, the East End, and other parts of Thunder Bay might be?