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Calgary will send parks staff to help Winnipeg recover from devastating snowstorm

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Calgary Parks staff will head to Winnipeg on Friday to help with emergency tree removal after the city was hit with a severe snowstorm last week.

The City of Calgary is sending parks staff to Winnipeg to clean up trees that have fallen from a devastating snowstorm.(John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Calgary Parks staff will head to Winnipeg on Friday to help with emergency tree removal after the city was hit with a severe snowstorm last week.

The storm knocked out power to tens-of-thousands of Manitobans, and forced thousands of evacuees from their homes. Winnipeg's mayor, and the province's premier, declared a state of emergency.

In Winnipeg, 30,000 trees were damaged on public land and possibly tens of thousands more have been damaged or felled on private property. It's been estimated the cleanup could take months.

Along with staff, Calgary is sending aerial trucks and chippers to help with the tree removal. Costs of the trip will be covered by the City of Winnipeg.

Todd Reichardt, Calgary's urban forestry manager, says when Calgary was hit by an early and heavy snowstorm in 2014 — often referred to as Snowtember — the city was extremely grateful for support from other municipalities and organizations.

"We know firsthand how an event of this magnitude can impact the lives of citizens, and we're privileged to be in a position where we can provide support and share our learnings to help Winnipeg optimize their response and recovery," he said.

In Winnipeg, many trees still had leaves on their branches, creating significantly more damage from the heavy early-season snowfall.

The same situation happened in Calgary in 2014. That recovery cost $35 million, and the city has estimated it will take decades for its urban canopy to recover.

Crews from Saskatchewan, Minnesota and Ontario have already deployed to Manitoba to help restore power.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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