The time is 4:30 am. For most of us the hope is another 3 hours of sleep before we prepare for another day of work. But not if your job is to run a patrol/grader for the RM of Morris. Nearly a foot of snow (25mm for younger folk) has fallen in the past 24 hours and your task as a grader operator is to clear the streets in communities of Rosenort, Lowe Farm, and Sperling and then move out into the grid of gravel roads that cross the RM of Morris. About 220 miles of gravel roads have to be cleared of snow so that people can go to work and children can attend school. Too many ‘snow days’ is not healthy for parents or students.
55 miles of road to be cleared of snow for each of the 4 municipal graders. The work is stressful. Snow blows up over the cab and restricts visibility. The landscape is entirely white. Roads with hydro poles provide some perspective. Often there is a bit of guesswork involved in keeping the unit on the road. And sometimes the guess is wrong. A call for help from fellow operators, a quick tug using the tow rope that standard equipment on all four graders, and back to clearing snow.
In normal circumstances, all roads can be cleared in a 10 hour shift. But Monday’s snowfall will require a full 2 days of work. The RM machines were out for 12 hours on Tuesday March 5 and we believe that all roads should be reasonably clear of snow by nightfall today, March 7.
I know this has been a frustrating time for many of our residents, especially rural homeowners. Thank you for trying to be patient with our staff. Our operators have worked many long hours to clear the roads for you. We are sorry that we could not complete the task more quickly but this was a major snow event.
We are always willing to listen to ideas and suggestions from our residents. Use our concern form on the web site, send us an email, or letter. We appreciate your comments.
Finally thank you to our patrol operators Rene, Alvin, Alex and Will for your service to our residents these past 2 days.
Thanks for a job well done.