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Wednesday July 29 2015
12:48 AM EDT
2014-02-14 at 15:54

Digging out

Chris Grant finishes snowblowing his Empire Street driveway on Friday morning.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Chris Grant finishes snowblowing his Empire Street driveway on Friday morning.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

It may be Valentine's Day, but that doesn't mean winter is getting a lot of love in this city.

The season, many residents say, has overstayed its welcome this year. At least that’s the consensus of many Thunder Bay residents who spent a portion of Feb.14 digging themselves out from a major snowfall that hit Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning.

Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson said the Thunder Bay International Airport recorded 17 centimetres of snowfall Thursday into Friday, but added that meteorologists in the city reported that certain areas could have seen as much as 25 centimetres.

The bitterness isn't likely to end anytime soon. Environment Canada continues to provide a consistent long range forecast of snow and cold. with more coming  during the long weekend.

“Another one of these systems is expected to move in overnight (Friday) and that snow will begin before morning with snow expected to continue throughout Saturday and looking at five to seven centimetres by the night.”
He added another system could follow on Monday.

In addition to shovels and snowblowers, many residents used plows attached to pickup trucks or improvised by using all-terrain vehicles to deal with this most recent snowfall.

No matter their method, most have gotten tired of the repeated shovelling missions.

One of those residents was Morizia Kis, who cleared snow from three driveways on Friday morning.

She started off with her own in Rosslyn, before doing her elderly parents’ driveway and finishing with her parents’ rental property on Brown Street.

This winter has already been long enough in her eyes, even though she doesn’t expect it to end anytime soon.

“It started too early and it’s probably going to end too late,” Kis said. “I’d rather have a short cold winter and a nice, long hot summer.”
Her first driveway took nearly an hour and then she was aided by the use of a snowblower at her parents’ house.

Still, she said the snowblowing work was still not easy.

“That’s a lot of work,” Kis said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a shovel or if it’s a snowblower it’s still time.”

Other residents who thought they were getting a head start on the removal by tackling the snow Thursday evening, or got to work before the street plow showed up, found their job wasn’t finished.

Chris Grant was out at noon snowblowing his Empire Street driveway for the second time on Friday.

While having to be out in the cold twice on the same day is an inconvenience, he acknowledges it’s part of the territory for living in Northwestern Ontario.

The snowfall wasn’t all bad news though as those who make a profit removing snow enjoyed the spike in business this week.

Kyle Buchan is spending his first winter getting paid for clearing driveways and had already completed four before noon after getting his day started at 8 a.m.
He said he has been busy throughout the season.

Along with a partner, they have approximately 20 clients they serve and he estimates it takes two days to hit all of them after a major dump.

“It’s not really (an inconvenience), it’s pretty good money if you don’t mind the work,” Buchan said.

Coulson said history, like last year, shows it is possible the city could continue to see significant snowfalls through the month of April with May snowfalls not unprecedented.


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