The City of Estevan is wrapping up its efforts to clear snow from roads in the community.
Estevan received its first significant snowfall of the winter in early February, and the city decided to proceed with a full-scale snow removal effort, using city staff and contractors.
They started work at 3 a.m. on Monday, and at 6 a.m. from Tuesday to Friday.
Norm Mack, the manager of roads and drainage for the City of Estevan’s public works division, said they should be finished on Friday afternoon.
“We put in a long week. We started Monday, so we virtually cleaned the city up in five days, clearing all streets of snow.”
City crews don’t expect to work this weekend, unless sanding the roads is necessary. They will resume regular hours on Monday.
They will shave ruts from main arteries, and complete any necessary tidying work.
“Snow removal went very well for the cold conditions. We had machinery work really well with no breakdowns, and that’s a credit to our maintenance department and our mechanics,” said Mack.
The city was going to hold off on snow removal Friday morning due to the frigid temperatures in the Estevan area, but they decided to proceed, and didn't encounter any issues.
The temperatures plunged to -40 C in Estevan overnight, and below -50 C with the wind chill. They remained below -30 C on Friday morning. While temperatures are expected to warm up slightly to -22 C on Saturday and Sunday, and then to -18 C on Monday and Tuesday, they are expected to remain well below normal for the foreseeable future.
An extreme cold warning remains in effect for the Estevan area.
Meanwhile, SaskEnergy has announced that daily natural gas consumption in the province has tied the current record of 1.50 petajoules (PJ). This record for the 24-hour period between 9 a.m. Feb. 7 and 9 a.m. Feb. 8, ties the record set on Dec. 30, 2017.
The 1.50 PJ natural gas consumption record is due high natural gas consumption from residential, business and industrial customers – especially the natural gas load from power production, enhanced oil recovery and mining.
A petajoule is a unit of measurement equivalent to one million gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas – the average home in Saskatchewan consumes about 100 GJ of natural gas annually.
Record-setting natural gas usage days are happening more frequently due to customer growth. SaskEnergy’s pipeline system is designed around this increased growth, ensuring additional capacity so that even on peak record days, the system is able to provide more natural gas than required.
SaskEnergy employees work throughout the year to inspect, maintain and upgrade the province’s natural gas delivery system so that it can operate safely and efficiently regardless of the weather conditions. The system is monitored 24 hours a day to manage peak demands such as the winter weather conditions Saskatchewan has been experiencing.