Winnipeg woman concerned about giant snow pile citing flooding concerns


A Winnipeg woman is calling on the city to do something about a giant snow pile near her yard, which she says floods her backyard and home in the spring.


Charlene Dale lives in the community of Crestview and said every year a snow pile gets pushed up against her neighbour’s chain-link fence. The snow comes from the two hockey rinks at the Assiniboia West Community Club adjacent to her home.


“It melts, creates a puddle on the other side of this mountain, which then reaches into the yard behind me, then flows into my yard because my yard is lower than this property, which is the city’s property and it floods my house,” said Dale, noting the water usually flows through her windows.


In past years, she said the snow pile gets to around 15 feet, stretches 100 feet each way, and is about 20 feet wide.


She said there has been several instances over the years where water has pooled in her backyard, noting last winter was the worst, when Winnipeg had one the snowiest winters on record.


“We were pumping out with three sump pumps, running 24 hours a day. We had to set alarms on our phone to get up in the middle of the night to make sure that the pumps were still working.”


As a result of the snow, she said for a month every year she is impacted physically due to a lack of sleep and financially because the pumps are continuously running.


Courtney Czezowski, the volunteer president of the Assiniboia West Recreation Association, said there aren’t a lot of options for where the snow can go.


“We do not own the fields, we do not own the park, that is not our space. We are working with our partners to solve this (problem),” said Czezowski.


She added the snow also can’t go between the buildings at the community centre because it would present a fire hazard.


For Dale, all she wants in the short term is for the snow to be moved elsewhere to protect her property, a plan that Coun. Shawn Dobson agrees with.


“I don’t believe we should be piling the snow there. I think we should find another solution that does not harm the residents adjacent to this community club,” said Dobson.


For the rest of the winter, Dobson thinks the snow should be moved to the parking lot of the community centre on the north side of the property, and then a long-term solution can be discussed in the spring and summer.


“The long-term solution would be perhaps working with the St. James-Assiniboia School Division and use some of their green space for snow storage in the winter.”


After speaking with CTV News Winnipeg, Dobson followed up and said he spoke with the school division and it agreed to let the community centre use some of the school space for the snow.


The community centre is next door to Crestview School.


Whatever the solution ends up being, all Dale wants is for the snow pile to disappear.


“This has been going on for a decade. Please, I need some help. I can’t do this anymore. I love my house, I love my community. I do not like the snow hill,” said Dale.


– With files from CTV News’ Michelle Gerwing

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