Priscilla Paul (left) and Jothish John dig out their vehicle near 148 Street and 72 Avenue on Monday afternoon. Surrey and the rest of the region has been hit with a series of snow storms

Records topple in recent snow storm

Environment Canada is calling for more snow on Wednesday night, but says it should turn to rain by Thursday morning.

The snowstorm that hit Surrey over the weekend sparked school closures, jammed traffic and caused snowfall records to topple.

Over the weekend alone, up to 37 centimetres (15 inches) of snow hit Surrey. Vancouver received slightly less at 24 cms (9.5 inches), and Chilliwack got slammed with 77 cms (30 inches) of the white stuff.

On Monday morning, all Surrey schools in the district were shut down due to the weather.

Environment Canada was expecting another five to 15 cms (two to six inches) through Monday and overnight into Tuesday (after The Leader’s press deadline. Check surrey leader.com for updates).

Forecasters are calling for a brief break, with another storm expected to hit tonight (Wednesday).

Snowfall records were toppled on Friday, according to Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Vancouver set a new record with 12 cms (4.7 inches), beating out the previous record for that day in 1946 of 10.6 cms.

Surrey got hit a lot harder than Vancouver because the storm was streaming in from the southern Strait of Georgia.

“Heavy bands of snow coming in off the strait (hit Surrey,” MacDonald told The Leader, adding Abbotsford picked up 18 cms (seven inches) of snow in just two hours on Friday.

Surrey road crews have been working around the clock to keep up with accumulations.

“I can’t remember a February like this,” said Rob Costanzo, Surrey’s manager of operations.

He said he’s keeping road-clearing crews on 24/7 until there’s no more threat of snow.

“Right now, our main roads are in great shape,” Costanzo said. “We’re focusing on secondary (side roads).”

Surrey was running low on salt during the last snowfall, but a new shipment has since arrived and Costanzo said the city is in good shape with about 11,000 metric tonnes of salt.

As far as costs are concerned, he estimates engineering is about halfway though the annual road clearing budget of $3.6 million for 2017.

Surrey did receive a snowfall in March in 2002, so Costanzo said none of the crews will be relaxing anytime soon.

The threat of heavy snow is not yet over, according to Environment Canada.

“There’s a strong storm that’s going to move ashore Wednesday evening,” MacDonald said. “It’s going to start off as snow, most probably, then switch over to rain some time on Thursday morning.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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