With a dump of snow Sunday and another fresh layer expected this evening, the City of White Rock and Surrey public works departments say they’re ready for whatever Mother Nature has to throw at them.
White Rock public works manager Dustin Abt told Peace Arch News Monday that crews were out at 4 p.m. yesterday and worked until 1 a.m.
Tonight, crews are working staggered shifts to keep snow plowed on priority routes.
“We’re looking really good. We have priority one, priority two and priority three routes clear and some of the side roads have been hit,” Abt said, adding that he has crews out clearing “hot spots” and taking servicing calls during the day.
“We got the salt sheds full, the equipment is ready to go, we’re all hands on deck,” Abt said.
Abt said crews were lucky that the snowfall was predicted by Environment Canada, and that he’s expecting about 10 cm of snow this evening.
“Right now, Environment Canada says it’s snowing, we’ve got really light flakes. But if you look up at the clouds, they’re low and grey, which tells me they’re going to dump any minute,” Abt said.
Civic walkways, including the promenade, were cleared in the morning, Abt said.
“We had a couple kudos online about the walkways being done, which is always nice to hear.”
Nine roads in White Rock are closed due to the snow, however, those routes are still plowed and salted “because we understand people don’t heed the advice of road closures.”
“We hope the public respects them because some of those hills are quite the grades, you’re talking 20-per-cent-plus grades. Four-by-four or not, gravity will take you,” Abt said.
On the Surrey side of North Bluff Road, snow-clearing crews are out in full force with 63 pieces of winter maintenance equipment and tonnes of salt.
Ray Kerr, Surrey’s manager of engineering operations, said crews have been working since snow began to fall Sunday.
“They’re all working, rotating 12-hour shifts,” he said Monday morning. “And we’ll be doing that at this point, until later in the week, considering they’re calling for snow tonight and over into tomorrow.”
Surrey, much like White Rock, targets “priority one” roads first, which are key arteries that are used by large numbers of drivers. They include main roads, bus routes and roads frequented by emergency service crews.
“I’d much prefer if we’re getting a lot of snow, that we get it steady as opposed to getting a lot of snow quickly. We can’t be everywhere. On Sunday, we received a large amount of snow in a very short time period,” Kerr said.
Environment Canada is predicting five to 10 cm of snow this evening.