Slow down and plan ahead – that’s the message from the City of Vancouver as it mops up the first snowfall of the season.
General manager of Engineering Jerry Dobrovolny says the city has been salting and brining 22 trucks – about half the fleet – but warns the results aren’t instant.
“We had a fairly intense snowfall for a short period of time, just perfectly timed to dump a few centimetres of snow right before the morning rush hour, and so it took some time for the salt and the brine to do their thing.”
Dobrovolny says hurried drivers and lack of snow tires were behind multiple crashes this morning, causing traffic delays.
READ MORE: Snowfall causing problems in Metro Vancouver
He says for the most part businesses and residents have been doing their duty.
“We did have some situations this morning where it was very disappointing. There were some sections I know on 12th Avenue where we had pedestrians out on the roadway walking down the travel lane because the sidewalks hadn’t been shovelled. So that put them at risk but also caused further delays for traffic.”
Residents are required to clear their walks by 10 a.m. after a snowfall or could face a fine between $250 and $2,000.
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) December 5, 2016
Seniors or others unable to shovel their walks can call 311 and get help from a “snow angel” volunteer.
Meanwhile, it looks like “round two” of the winter storm will hit us on Thursday.
“…..the next weather system looks on track to start us as snow on Thursday, sometime in the morning. Whether or not it changes to rain Thursday afternoon is the million dollar question, but, certainly the first half of Thursday looks messy as of now,” says Global Meteorologist Mark Madryga.
Dobrovolny says with more snow expected Thursday the city will be working from the same game plan but could add plows if the snow piles up.
Fraser Health warning
With roads and sidewalks expected to ice up this evening, Fraser Health is warning the public to be wary of serious falls.
Injury Prevention manager Fabio Feldman says while ice is dangerous for everyone, he says Seniors can be hurt much worse.
“Very common in seniors when they fall to suffer hip fractures, the problem with hip fractures is that the mortality rate is quite high – with one in four seniors when they suffer a hip fracture they will actually die within a year. Another one – head injuries, and concussions. And so those are all serious injuries that can be avoided.”
Feldman says seniors should slow down, make sure they’ve got the right footwear on, and use a cane or walkers if they have them.
With files from Terry Schintz