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Spring thaw: Calgary crews working to clear flooded streets and sidewalks

There are about 60,000 storm drains in Calgary which capture water off sidewalks, streets and roads. There are about 60,000 storm drains in Calgary which capture water off sidewalks, streets and roads.
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The City of Calgary is facing a barrage of calls to remove pools of water unable to drain down city catch basins due to a buildup of ice.

Corey Colbran, manager of wastewater services, said on Wednesday there's a backlog of nearly 1,300 calls they're trying to respond to.

"We've gotten through about 300 of them and we continue to plow through those," Colbran said.

Leftover snow piles throughout Calgary are being exposed to warm days and frigid nights, which leads to the pooling water freezing and continuing to cover over storm drains day after day.

"The last year we saw something like this was 2018, so we do deal with some degree of this every year, but certainly this year is a lot more just because of the amount of snow and how packed it's gotten," Colbran says.

Calgary has about 60,000 storm drains.

"We do know we have some problem areas, we are working to get to those," Colbran said.

There are about 60,000 storm drains in Calgary which capture water off sidewalks, streets and roads.Dean Dolph, a homeowner in Rutland Park, says he waited more than five days for the city to come, all while watching the water creep closer and closer to his garage.

He says he was eventually forced to sandbag.

"(The City of Calgary) told me if it started to flood the garage, give me a call and they'd bump up the priority," said Dolph.

He says he's frustrated with the slow response despite the threat to his property.

"If I don't clear my snow off of that sidewalk within two days, I can get a ticket from the bylaw officer," Dolph said. "But because of the city's negligence, the sidewalk has been underwater for five days."

As of Wednesday evening, the large puddle remained, lapping at the sandbags because the street was still not draining properly.

If you have a drain that needs clearing you can contact 311 online, through the mobile app or by calling.

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