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After the storm: Surrey mops up

As of  Thursday morning, it was a major mop-up operation for City of Surrey crews.

The storm of a decade, which dropped record amounts of snow on the city in recent weeks, appeared to be over, with temperatures rising, rain falling and snow melting.

For city crews on Thursday, it was a matter of keeping storm drains clear, as  many of them had been blocked with snow and the melt, combined with heavy rainfall, threatened local flooding.

However, much of that was cleaned up by the morning rush hour.

Surrey's Manager of Operations Rob Costanzo said Thursday morning that all main roads were clear of pooling water. The works yard had received just a dozen calls.

Keeping roads clear so far this winter has been a tiresome and expensive proposition. Surrey has already burned through half of its annual snow-clearing budget of $3.6 million. Costanzo said the city had 105 people on staff at any given time during a prolonged 24/7 shift pattern.

It cost $250,000 per day to keep that staffing in place.

"We've been going all out since Friday," Costanzo said.

By "we," he means all city staff. Contractors require a financial retainer so most municipalities have opted to handle snow clearing internally.

The weather forecast is for continued warming trends.

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