VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Break out your winter gear: snow has fallen in parts of the Lower Mainland, giving some their first taste of winter. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning of up to 5 centimetres for central and eastern Fraser Valley.
Snowing in Abbotsford pic.twitter.com/T3lmxyGKwO
— Brad (@Braddunlop) November 2, 2017
Colder conditions are in the forecast for the rest of the week, meaning crews from around the region are out in full force.
“Some reports are saying we’re just on the edge of where we might see ice, we might have light snow, but we’ll have the crews out salting all night,” explains City of Vancouver Chief Engineer Jerry Dobrovolny.
He adds crews have learned to be prepared and have more resources on hand when temperatures plummet. “Council has approved additional resources, and we have additional equipment, and we have additional drivers that we’ve trained,” he says. “And additional salt that we’ll have in storage, and depending on conditions this winter we’ll have more available to us.”
Crews in Burnaby are also preparing as some parts of that city have already seen flurries in higher elevations. “We’ve done some enhancements to our level of response,” explains Brian Carter, manager of Burnaby’s Public Works and Operations. “We’ve added salt capacity this year, almost at least double the capacity we had in previous years, and we’ve got some more arrangements with some of our contractors… to be on standby an being available to help with some of the other roadways.”
Meanwhile, the City of Coquitlam’s Brad Lofgren says crews in that community are generally ready this time of year for cold conditions, but adds preparations have had to start earlier than usual.
“It is a little bit early, that’s for sure, but at this time of year –especially at the higher elevations, the weather can become a little bit predictable,” he tells NEWS 1130. “But it can happen very, very quickly, especially in the higher elevations of the city.”
Learning from last year’s brutal winter, he says the city has made some changes to staffing and shift changes, as well as purchased more equipment. “We are certainly better prepared this year than we were last year.”
All of these municipalities say you can also do your part during this cold spell by making sure you have the right tires on your cars, clearing any snow build up or even just staying off the roads unless you need to be out.
1st snowfall in Aldergrove pic.twitter.com/4mbJce0z9w
— chattykathys (@chattykathys) November 2, 2017
BC Hydro is also taking extra steps to make sure customers are taken care of should this cold front cause power outages.
“This is really a team effort, we have power line technicians, construction crews, damage assessor, wire guards and call centre agents as well all ready to respond and answer customers’ questions should the lights go out,” says Tanya Fish with the utility.
She adds you should consider keeping an emergency kit in case the power does goes out, but warns against candles. “Due to the risk of fire, however LED candles are a good option.”
According to Environment Canada, some areas around the Lower Mainland are seeing temperatures below the seasonal average.
As a result of the weather, road conditions are constantly changing. Make sure you check Drive BC before leaving the house.