From buried to drowning in 24 hours

Q: When do you get when you cross three weeks of snow and 4°C temperatures?

A: Vancouver soup.

I woke up this morning and stumbled outside to find that while my road continued to be a frosty railroad, the gutters had started to turn into lakes. And it ain’t over yet. In fact, the City of Vancouver is asking for a little civic sense of duty;

We’re asking for your help – if there is a catch basin [i.e. sewer grate -cas] in front of your property that hasn’t yet been cleared, please clear it off to help the water run off.

Also, to protect your property, make sure that your gutters, drains and any drains serving sunken patios or roof decks are clear. If you have a basement or garage, take any precious objects up off of the floor in case there is some flooding. If you’re concerned about snow on your roof, please do not clear it off yourself – hire a professional.

There are, according to the City webpage, 40,000 drains in Vancouver – even at a steady pace, there’s no way City crews can clear them all quick enough to avoid bigger trouble. So, grab a shovel, pretend your ten again, and go play in a puddle, yeah?

3 Comments so far

  1. paddlinggeek on January 7th, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    Personally, I think if you live near a sewer grate you should be the one who responsible for making sure it’s cleared from snow, leafs etc and not the city. As it’s your house on the line if it’s not cleared.

  2. castewar on January 7th, 2009 @ 11:42 am

    Not a bad thought, but the main problem is that the drains are part of the City infrastructure, and people tend to think, "I pay taxes for the City to maintain the infrastructure, so maintain it, dammit!"

    As well, responsibility implies ownership, which brings up a lot of what ifs? about people dumping crap down them (are you responsible for keeping your neighbour from ditching paint down them?) and accidents (Little Timmy, the little idiot, tried to retrieve his ball and got stuck, now you have to pay for the rescue.) Basically, it opens up a big can of litigious worms. PLUS if you own the drain, do you own the curb? If you own the curb, is that then your parking spot and no one elses? Can you then call the tow trucks in? Who pays for that?

    Better that the drains and all their roadway ways stay with the City, and all you have to worry about it maybe, possibly, doing a nice bit of civic duty this one time. But, considering how many people didn’t bother clearing their sidewalks in December, perhaps that’s wishful thinking.

    Shame on you, non-sidewalk-cleaning Vancouverites.

  3. paddlinggeek on January 7th, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    If you had the 30 minutes to do the driveway, and sidewalk why not spend that extra couple of minutes to clean the sewer grates as you never know if and when the city will come to clear a path for ya? If you do your part its one less thing the city worker gotta do and so they could spend more time improving the metro vancouver bus stops for you transit folk.

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