Multiple crashes are keeping emergency crews busy on North Okanagan roads Friday, Oct. 23. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP photo)

‘Avoid travel,’ Vernon urges on snow-covered roads/highways

Weekend weather break will see crews removing piled up snow

Clean up continues on city of Vernon roads and highways in the North Okanagan, following another major dump of snow.

“Roads throughout the entire region are reported as having compact snow with icy sections and motorists are encouraged to avoid travel if possible,” the city said in a press release issued Friday. Jan. 7.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and RCMP are currently on scene of multiple vehicle collisions on Highway 97 south of Vernon. Firefighters have reported that multiple vehicles have left the roadway and are in the ditch. Some vehicles, including large trucks, have also become stuck in the area.

Highway 97 between College Way and Bailey Road is fully closed to traffic in both directions.

READ MORE: Highway 97 fully closed south of Vernon

“If you must travel throughout the region, please slow down, be prepared for changing road conditions, and give yourself more time to reach your destination,” the city said.

Vernon has a full fleet of snow clearing equipment and staff continuing its response across the city today, clearing and sanding roads on a priority basis.

Due to the large amount of snow that has fallen in the last couple weeks and limited space for snow storage in some areas, crews will also be removing some snow during overnight periods this weekend.

A break in the weather over the weekend will allow crews to focus on removing snow from specific areas.

Starting Saturday evening and continuing for three to four days, crews will begin removing snow from the downtown core, Highway 97 within the municipal boundary, 27th Street and 48th Avenue.

“The work will be done overnight to reduce impact to vehicular traffic as much as possible and is expected to take approximately three to four nights to complete the work,” the city said. “Residents and visitors are reminded that snow removal involves large, slow-moving equipment and will cause noise in the areas where work is being completed. If you come across crews who are working, please slow down and obey all traffic control signage and personnel.”

Residents and businesses are reminded that snow clearing is a major task and requires all hands to be on deck. In addition to the work done by crews on roads and pathways, residents and business operators are also responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

“When shoveling sidewalks and driveways, please do not pile snow on travel lanes, storm drains, fire hydrants or bus pickup/drop-off areas, as these create issues for travel and safety concerns for the community.”

READ MORE: Caution urged for Vernon drivers with more snow on the way


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