VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After months of warnings about snow, ice, sleet and freezing temperatures, winter has finally come to an end.
— NEWS 1130 (@NEWS1130) March 20, 2017
To celebrate the first day of spring, NEWS 1130 is taking a look back at our unusually snowy winter and some of the stranger things police witnessed over the last few months.
It wasn’t just cold, it was extremely snowy as well. NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate says double the normal amount of snow fell at YVR (70 centimetres), while the Fraser Valley was hit even harder. “[A total] of 128 centimetres of snow fell in Abbotsford, that was 270 per cent of normal. And just think, the outlying areas east of Chilliwack saw even more snow. The worst of it came in early February when we got more than 60 centimetres in parts of the Fraser Valley in just one weekend.”
You may be hoping we don’t have a repeat of the weather this winter. “You have to time travel back to the early 70s to find a comparable winter season across the Lower Mainland.”
Abbotsford Police Constable Ian MacDonald the bad weather actually helped them catch some dumb criminals, like a man who tried to rob a jewelry store and run off when the roads were covered in ice. “It was almost like a scene from The Flinstones because he was getting no traction. We had officers in close proximity but they weren’t getting very far either.”
A K9 unit was brought in and eventually they were able to arrest the suspect.
However, we saw more than just dumb criminals, some people didn’t bother to clear their car windows after the snow fell for which you can be fined. “It’s a little bit like going grocery shopping in your pyjamas and your slippers. You’re basically telling everybody that you’re just not prepared. Lower Mainlanders don’t enjoy the cold and that includes the criminally-inclined as well.”
It was a similar situation in Delta where the force’s Sharlene Brooks says an incident on Ladner Trunk Road one morning stands out. “The windshield was fully covered in snow. The rear window was fully covered in snow and the driver’s window was down, thinking that was sufficient visual for him to drive.”
Surrey also saw a lot of snow-covered cars but for the most part police seemed pleased with how people handled the rough winter.
Despite all the crazy weather, there is definitely one thing commuters will probably be glad to see fixed. “Potholes. We received so many calls over the last few months and I know that drivers will be very glad that roads are getting back to normal,” says NEWS 1130 Traffic Reporter Matt Coppin.
If you need any other indication that spring is officially here — Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival gets underway on March 30th.