Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Coastal B.C., including the Metro Vancouver and parts of the Fraser Valley.
The forecast, issued this morning, calls for 10 to 15 cm of accumulation caused by a low pressure system that has already spread snow over Vancouver Island.
“Rain will quickly transition to wet snow through this morning and begin accumulating,” the warning says. “Amounts will be quite variable depending on intensity and how quickly the air mass cools.”
The system could deliver 5 cm of snow near sea level and up to 15 cm over the higher terrain and inland areas. Snow will taper to flurries this evening and end overnight as drier air spreads across the region.
Environment Canada warns that surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.
But as that snow begins to blanket North Delta, not all of the community’s roads will get plowed immediately.
The City of Delta splits its roads into three priority groups to ensure major routes get cleared first.
Public transit routes, major collectors, select school access roadways and some roads in hilly areas are given first priority, with brining, salting, sanding and snowplowing carried out as long as poor conditions exist. Overtime for municipal employees working these routes is automatic, so they will get done no matter what.
Once conditions on first-priority routes are under control, crews and resources will be redirected to other locations. Second-priority roads including secondary through-roads in residential areas, select rural roads and school bus routes will be dealt with next. Overtime may be scheduled to complete secondary priorities, but is not guaranteed.
Minor residential streets and cul-de-sacs are given third priority, with work carried out on a site-specific basis, usually at the request of the residents and normally after inspection by a supervisor. Work on these areas is carried out during normal working hours only.
The municipality has set up a winter road conditions phone line (604-952-3820) that is updated every four hours with the current weather situation and Delta’s response levels. This information will also be available through Delta’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
To report a snow/ice concern, residents can call 604-946-4141 or submit a “Talk to Delta” form online at delta.ca/your-government/contact-us/talk-to-delta or vie the TalkDelta app, available on iTunes and Google Play.
The City of Delta’s snow and ice preparedness website offers the following tips to assist the city in providing the best service possible:
• If possible, do not park your vehicle on the street or in your cul-de-sac. An empty street makes the passage of snowplows and salt spreaders much easier.
• Do not attempt to stop the plow truck operators. They follow specifically laid out routes and are under the direction of the engineering department. Please direct all requests, comments and concerns directly to the engineering department at 604-946-3260 during business hours or to Delta Police at 604-946-4411 after business hours.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. On roadways where there are no sidewalks or the sidewalks are impassable due to snow, give the snowplows as much room as possible. Our drivers are courteous, but the equipment they are operating is large and complex.
• Never shovel snow from sidewalks and driveways onto the street. The snowplows always push the snow to the side of the road. Accordingly, this may result in snow being pushed back onto your driveway rather than having it plowed away. Pushing the snow from your driveway onto the road will add snow and ice to the road, creating a hazardous situation.
• Pile snow shoveled from your driveway on the right side facing the street. This reduces the chance of having the plow pile the snow over your driveway entrance after you have shoveled it out. Our drivers attempt to leave clear entrance to driveway whenever possible; however, this is not always possible following heavy snowfall.
• Please shovel any catch basins if they are in front of your home. Melting snow can drain into the storm system and this will reduce the chance of flooding and icing in the street, as well as the chance of flooding on your property.
• Garbage cans and recycling should not be placed on the road. Keep them on the sidewalk or boulevard and remove them as soon as possible after they have been emptied.
Commercial property and business owners are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks located adjacent to their property within 24 hours, or could face a $100 fine. Residential property owners are requested to clear snow from sidewalks bordering their properties, but are not mandated to do so.
The Snow Angels program is available again this year to assist seniors and those with physical disabilities who need a helping hand with driveway and sidewalk snow clearing. The North Delta chapter is based out of the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre and residents needing the service are encouraged to call 604-594-2717.
Anyone interested in volunteering to be a Snow Angel can contact Delta’s volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-946-3288. Volunteers must have their own shovel and transportation.