It’s all hands on deck for city crews after about a foot of snow fell on Penticton Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
What is happening today:
The full complement of equipment and shovellers began clearing snow at 4 a.m. with a focus on priority routes including main roads, steep hills, emergency routes, bus routes, school zones, collector and industrial roads. The work is slow going. Some places there are four foot windrows to clear.
The city has 5 large snowplow trucks, 3 smaller snowplow trucks, 2 wheel loaders, 1 grader, 4 pieces of smaller snow removal equipment and a full team of shovellers.
Shovellers and loaders are currently clearing access to bus stops. These efforts will continue throughout the day. Transit service may be impacted.
School District 67 didn’t run its buses Thursday.
What is next:
A second nighttime crew will start at 4 p.m. to continue clearing through to 4 a.m. when the daytime crews will return. Expect to hear graders and activity throughout the night. Mechanics are on call too to ensure equipment keeps moving.
The city has also hired a contractor to focus on snow clearing in the downtown core tonight. Crews will be actively clearing on Main St. and Martin St. between the 100 and 500 blocks to keep downtown moving tomorrow. If you have a vehicle on these blocks, be sure to move them so crews can access the streets.
Crews will work through the weekend until the roads are clear. More snow is expected to fall Thursday and throughout the night. This may delay crews reaching side streets as they will need to return to clear priority streets.
Crews are also preparing for warmer temperatures predicted for Friday. Melting snow can block catch basins and contribute to flooding. Crews will be working to clear priority catch basins.
What you can do:
Approach or pass snow clearing vehicles with care and consideration. Large work vehicles can sometimes make unexpected turns or stops.
Remove cars off of the street so plows can work more efficiently and clear the entire roadway. It also reduces potential vehicle damage and provides faster clean-up.
Be a snow angel and help your neighbors who need assistance. City staff and community services are providing support but these services are oversubscribed.
Do your best to clear all sidewalks adjacent to your property before 11 a.m. the following day after the snow event in accordance with the Good Neighbor Bylaw.
Clear the snow away from fire hydrants for easy access by firefighters if needed. Chains are on the wheels of our fire trucks to ensure they can get to emergencies.
Clear any catch basins on your street to allow the water to flow.
Worried about garbage collection? Place your carts out at their designated collection point by 7 am on your regularly scheduled garbage day. Garbage collection may be limited in laneways and side streets.
And most importantly, wave, give a thumbs up or say thank you when you see city crews. They have been working tirelessly over the holidays and during this recent snowfall to clear the streets.