CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – It’s one of the worst winters we’ve seen in years, and parts of the Fraser Valley have seen huge snowfall accumulations in recent days. In fact, parts of Chilliwack saw as much as 80 centimetres over the weekend.
Cars are buried as people abandon them, in some cases, in parking lots across the Fraser Valley — not willing to risk getting on the roads. Other images circulating on social media show people standing with the snow right up to their waist.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says conditions are still cold and blustery. “The parking lots are really quite bad. We’ve got snow absolutely everywhere. As I look down the street today I see cars completely snowed under, huge amounts of snow and we’re busy digging out.”
Gaetz is urging those who are able to do their bit to clear up what they can around their property.
She says crews are working hard to clear the main routes but asks for patience when it comes to sidestreets. “Our main emphasis, of course, is getting those arterial and collector roads cleared. There is some frustration with some residents, but most of them understand that this is a huge task and all of our crews are working around the clock.”
City of Abbotsford General Manger of Engineering and Regional Utilities Peter Sparanese says crews are also working around the clock to ensure main roads are clear. “We have approximately 17 trucks that are out in the city clearing our roads to keep the roads open for people.”
He adds it will take them about 48 hours to clear residential streets. “Providing the weather conditions hold out the way they are, but we’re still anticipating some snow later today and we can probably expect another five to 10 centimetres.”
Abbotsford Police is asking people to avoid the Sumas Flats region due to treacherous conditions.
Crews have been working around the clock in Vancouver to ensure the main streets are clear.
Jerry Dobrovolny heads the engineering department and explains what to do if you see a trouble spot. “We worked all weekend to salt laneways that are connected with the garbage collection schedule.”
He wants people to know there will be times when roads aren’t completely clear. “The expectation should not be that the streets will never be white especially when the snow is coming down quite heavily at times. We have been able to maintain the arterial roadways largely with black, clear asphalt.”
Dobrovolny says the city fell slightly behind on garbage pickup on Friday, but has caught up today.