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Chilliwack snowplows forced to clear the way for ambulances

Last Updated Feb 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm PDT

(iStock image)

Crews escorting ambulances in Chilliwack due to heavy snowfall

Cities in the Fraser Valley preparing as next snowfall gets ready to hit

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – With parts of Chilliwack seeing snow accumulations of up to 80 centimetres in some places in recent days, that’s posing some big challenges for everybody trying to get around.

It’s also caused some major challenges for first responders. The roads have been so bad that the city has directed snowplows to help clear the way in a number of cases.

“A question that’s been coming to me as mayor, in my office, is ‘What do we do in an emergency? How do I get to the hospital?’ So far, we have had six ambulance calls whereby we’ve dispatched snowplows to go with the ambulances,” explains City of Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

The city is bracing for even more work for crews in the days ahead, with a winter storm watch still in effect and with more snow and possibly even freezing rain expected throughout the next couple of days.

“We’re prepared for anything,” says Gaetz. “We have a lot of salt. We have a lot of sand. We have a lot of vehicles out. We have 78 people out working on this, and we’re working around the clock.”

Gaetz is thanking those who have been helping their neighbours, especially those who have been assisting seniors.

Prepare for the melt

We’re still a few days away from all this snow melting, but it’s already a good time to starting preparing.

Jennifer Kinneman with the Fraser Valley Regional District suggests clearing catch basins around your property, as well as your home’s gutters.

“Residents may wish to consider the amount of snow that has built up against their home,” says Kinneman. “Melting snow can run into basements and by moving snow away from the building, that can be avoided.

“Another really good reason to do this is to ensure your furnace will still run effectively.”

Kinneman shares that last tip from personal experience — snow blocked her furnace vent this weekend.