City crews battling non-stop snowfall in Nanaimo
Published Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:16PM PST Last Updated Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:12PM PST
NANAIMO -- Snow continues to fall steadily for the second day in row in Nanaimo, making it challenging for city crews to gain any kind of momentum clearing roadways.
“When the snow doesn’t give us a bit of a break and it keeps falling, we basically have to keep cycling through our priority routes,” said John Elliot, the director of public work for the City of Nanaimo.
City staff were able to get to residential areas – priority two routes – last night. But, when the snow started to come down again non-stop Tuesday, crews were left clearing the city’s emergency routes all day.
“We get through the priority routes and then they become snow covered again,” said Elliot. “We have to hit them again or else we will lose the ability to keep them clear.”
The public works department has already laid 200 tonnes of salt on city roads and has just brought in an extra 400 tonnes.
The city has 19 pieces of equipment working around-the-clock as well as eight pieces from parks and recreation working at city facilities.
With emergency routes being the top priority, side roads have become very icy, resulting in multiple accidents for a second day in a row.
The city is encouraging people not to leave their homes or businesses if they don't have to. But, if you do, staff recommend avoiding hills and picking your route wisely.
With Environment Canada warning of 20 to 30 centimetres of snowfall across most of Vancouver Island, there seems to be no end in sight.
“The forecast isn’t looking good, we’re anticipating this to continue with a bit of a break through the night,” said Elliot.
“But then it’s back at us tomorrow in a big way,” he said.