City removes snow from woman’s property

Daniel MacEachern
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City crews have cleared the snow from a woman’s yard after it was dumped there by mistake.
Lori Clarke of St. John’s complained to city hall after finding a huge pile of ice and snow blocking access to her house on Durham Place.

A mountain of snow blocked access to Lori Clarke’s home on Durham Place this week, after city crews piled it on her property, preventing her from getting into her house. City crews cleared a path to her door Wednesday.

Clarke and her young daughter had been staying at Leaside Manor since fire damaged the house’s interior Dec. 22, and city snowplow crews piled snow on her property after last weekend’s heavy snowfall.

Late Tuesday, the city cleared enough snow for Clarke to get back into her house, which is still being examined by insurance adjusters and workers who will repair the home.

Earlier Tuesday, St. John’s director of public works Paul Mackey said crews will deposit snow on properties that appear to be unoccupied — if, for example, driveways haven’t been cleared.

“Our operators go along, and if they see evidence of a driveway, they don’t stack any snow,” he said. “The normal windrow from the plow would come off like it would in anybody’s driveway, but we don’t push snow up if there’s a driveway or a walkway or anything like that.”

Mackey also said if crews made a mistake, the city would investigate and remove the snow if warranted. On Tuesday, that’s what happened.

Clarke said she is thrilled to be able to gain access to her house again, although she’s not happy about the rude treatment from the city operator she spoke to about the problem, and also disputed that the house looked unoccupied.

“The driveway didn’t look like it wasn’t used, because there was a path from the street to my door,” she said. “I’ve been there every single day and was able to enter the house. That massive pile was put there during the last storm.”

Clarke also noted the irony of the city burying the hydrant right in front of her fire-damaged home — one of the 3,200 hydrants across St. John’s that the city is now digging out with staff and contractors, and the help of residents.

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Recent comments

  • Good Lesson
    January 09, 2014 - 19:23

    A good lesson to everyone. If you whine enough about being special, someone will waste our tax dollars treating you so. Were this such a big deal, her neighbors would have anted up and shoved a path for her.