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Media Releases

October 11, 2019

 

City crews continue to respond to snowfall

Motorists are urged to use extra caution and to drive to winter conditions

Released: 7:26 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – City crews will continue to plow collector streets and bus routes this morning, and spread salt on main routes as needed to improve traction on roadways throughout the day.

There are no winter parking bans currently in effect.

Residents are urged to adjust their driving behaviour by making allowances for winter driving conditions, and are advised to:

  • Factor in additional travel time to get to destinations
  • Slow down to a safe travel speed for winter conditions
  • Allow appropriate stopping distances
  • Stay Back, Stay Safe from heavy equipment that is working

Snow clearing and salting operations are undertaken in accordance with the Council-approved Snow Clearing and Ice Control Policy.

Transit Impacts
Due to inclement weather conditions, Winnipeg Transit is currently experiencing delays. Residents are reminded to check their schedules before heading out, and to allow additional time to get to their destinations.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Updates
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is currently experiencing longer response times. Response times are being monitored and additional resources will be placed on duty if necessary.

Since 7 p.m. on October 10, 2019, the WFPS has responded to over 220 service calls for problems related to hydro lines, including two structure fires. Over the last 24 hour period, WFPS has experienced roughly double its normal call volume, receiving 687 calls for assistance.

Residents are reminded to stay away from damaged or downed power lines, and to contact 911 immediately.

Residents can assist in keeping their families safe by reviewing winter safety tips and emergency preparedness tips at City of Winnipeg - EmergWeb.

River Flooding Update
Since the Province of Manitoba activated the Red River Floodway on October 9, 2019, river levels at the James Avenue gauge have begun to recede. As of 6:58 a.m. this morning, the river level at the James Avenue gauge was 11.96 feet. 

At this time, there are no properties at risk of river flooding. 

The City will continue to monitor weather conditions and river levels to determine required flood protection measures.

The City continuously reviews its flood preparation measures and activities, including monitoring river levels and weather conditions, preparing pumping stations, deploying temporary pumps to protect the sewer system, and closing outfall gates, as needed.

We will continue to monitor weather conditions and river levels to determine required flood protection measures.

Waterway Safety
Residents are advised to exercise extreme caution near waterways due to fast moving current. Parents and teachers are urged to speak to children and students about the dangers of waterways.

Basement Flooding
Basement flooding is a risk at any time of the year; however, the risk increases when river levels rise because the sewer system must rely heavily on pumping stations rather than gravity to carry the water runoff due to higher river levels.

Homeowners are reminded to take the following steps to protect their homes and property:

  • To ensure maximum protection against basement flooding, arrange for a licensed plumber to install a sewer line backup valve and a sump pit with pump in the basement.
  • Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Ensure drainage is directed away from the home by extending downspouts away from the basement walls and ensuring the earth is built up around the house.

Property owners are reminded it is against the law to drain sump pump water into the basement floor drain or any other part of the house plumbing system, as it can overtax the sewer system placing their basement and those of their neighbours at risk of flooding and damage.

As of 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, the City received a single report of clean water sewer back-up, and a single report of raw sewage backup.

Plan to implement the Million Tree Challenge initiated by motions at EPC

Released: 8:36 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – At next week’s Executive Policy Committee meeting, two motions will be introduced by Mayor Bowman to initiate the Million Tree Challenge.

“With our tree canopy under threat by diseases such as Dutch elm disease and the emerald ash borer, we as a City need to do more to protect the trees we have and expand our reforestation efforts,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Our tree canopy is a great source of pride for many Winnipeggers and these motions will put us on track toward the implementation of the Million Tree Challenge.”

The first motion will task the City of Winnipeg Public Service to report back in 90 days with a plan to implement and promote a program that includes a tracking mechanism with the goal of planting one million trees in Winnipeg before the City’s population reaches one million people. This program will guide individuals, not-for-profit agencies, as well as private businesses to help plant a million new trees in Winnipeg.

The second motion will ask Winnipeg’s Public Service to conduct a cross jurisdictional scan and consult with industry and community stakeholders on the creation of a Tree Protection and Preservation By-law, integrate this into the Comprehensive Urban Forest Management Strategy and report back to the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks in 2020.

Many major cities in Canada have tree protection by-laws that address tree removal and alteration on private and public property.

Last month, the Mayor shared his vision for Winnipeg’s Million Tree Challenge and it has already been very well-received by Winnipeggers. It’s an effort that would result in a net expansion and growth of our tree canopy, and an effort that goes beyond replacing existing trees lost to age, disease, or other impairments.

We’ll be tracking where trees are being planted, organizing volunteer tree plantings on public and private property, and working with Tree Canada to accept donations to the Million Tree Challenge. We’ll also focus on tree education and ensuring we create a more diverse urban forest that will stand for generations.

Many individuals and organizations have already asked how to participate and CN has already committed $1 million to get the Challenge started.

“I’ve already personally heard from many individuals and organizations that would like to take up the challenge and that’s why these initial steps to initiate the program are so important,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “These steps chart a path so we can build on that positive momentum to expand our community’s urban forest to make sure it’s there for generations to come!”

City releases updated Financial Management Plan

Strategy on financial decision-making includes updated key goals

Released: 9:01 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg has updated its Financial Management Plan, which is the City’s strategy for guiding financial decision-making, meeting long-term obligations, and improving its economic position and financial stability. The City will present its updated Financial Management Plan at the meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance today, October 11, 2019.

The City has updated the plan to establish renewed goals for the City which together will work to address current unsustainable operating and capital budget deficits. The updated goals in the City’s’ Financial Management Plan are:

  • Ensure a sustainable revenue structure
  • Support a sustainable and competitive tax environment
  • Support economic growth
  • Support long-term financial planning
  • Build, maintain and enhance infrastructure assets
  • Manage expenditures
  • Manage debt
  • Ensure adequate reserves and liquidity

The plan requires periodic updates to ensure alignment of goals with new financial or economic realities or Council priorities. The first Financial Management Plan was approved by Council in 1995, and was subsequently updated and adopted by Council on April 25, 2001, and again on March 23, 2011.

The City’s Financial Management Plan is publicly available through the Decision Making Information System (DMIS).

Update #2: City of Winnipeg response to snowfall

Avoid all non-essential travel, stay away from any downed power lines

Released: 2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Residents are currently advised to avoid all non-essential travel within the city. Roads may be slippery as a result of snow, ice, and wet foliage.

If you need to travel, drivers are advised to:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch for downed trees or damaged power lines that have fallen as a result of high winds or ice accumulation
  • If your path is blocked by a tree on the road, choose an alternate route
  • Use caution when driving near emergency, City, or Manitoba Hydro crews
  • Stay Back, Stay Safe from heavy equipment that is working

There are currently 24 traffic signal intersection outages across the City that crews are actively working to resolve. When approaching an intersection without operating traffic signals, treat it as a four-way stop and use extreme caution.

City crews are continuing to plow collector streets and bus routes throughout the day, and will spread salt on main routes as needed to improve traction on roadways throughout the day.

There are no winter parking bans currently in effect.

Snow clearing and salting operations are undertaken in accordance with the Council-approved Snow Clearing and Ice Control Policy.

Transit Impacts
Due to inclement weather conditions, Winnipeg Transit is currently experiencing delays. Residents are reminded to check their schedules before heading out, and to allow additional time to get to their destinations.

Community Services Update
Due to travel conditions, the City is suspending all programming at City-run recreation facilities and libraries for the remainder of the day, effective at 2 p.m., and closing all City-run recreation facilities and libraries. These facilities will remain closed and lessons cancelled tomorrow, on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Further updates will be provided tomorrow.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Updates
Response times are being monitored and additional resources will be placed on duty if necessary.

In the last 24 hours, the WFPS has responded to over 342 service calls for problems related to hydro lines, including two structure fires. WFPS has experienced more than double its normal call volume in that span, receiving over 750 calls for assistance.

Residents are reminded to stay away from damaged or downed power lines, and to contact 911 immediately. WFPS is working collaboratively with Manitoba Hydro to answer any power and utility line calls.

Residents can assist in keeping their families safe by reviewing winter safety tips and emergency preparedness tips at City of Winnipeg - EmergWeb.

Garbage & Recycling Collection
Collection may be slower than usual today due to recent snowfalls, lane conditions and downed trees.

Residents who have downed trees blocking road access to their recycling, garbage and yard waste should call 311 to report their downed tree and missed collection.

All other residents should leave their carts and yard waste out until 7 p.m. tonight. If your carts or yard waste have not been collected by 7 p.m., please put them away and then place them out by 7 a.m. tomorrow morning.

311 Call Volumes
The City’s 311 call centre is experiencing higher than normal call volumes. As of 12:22 p.m., 311 had 86 calls waiting with an average wait time of approximately 1 hour, 44 minutes.

We greatly appreciate callers’ patience as 311 works on responding to all calls for service, and ask that if your issue is non-urgent please email 311@winnipeg.ca or tweet @cityofwinnipeg. Your request will still be prioritized and dealt with through email and Twitter.

October 11, 2019