Road maintenance crews prepping for late winter storm

A satellite image of a winter storm that is expected to move into the Peace Region Wednesday night. Photo by Environment Canada.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Road maintenance crews on both sides of the Peace River say they’re preparing for a late blast of winter after a winter storm warning was issued for the region

Fort St. John’s General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland said that City snowplow crews are geared up and ready to begin to respond to the dump of snow, which is expected to start falling through the overnight hours. Shopland said that crews will be switching gears after doing haul-off operations of parking lanes over the past few days of warmer weather.

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YRB North Peace General Manager Chris Charbonneau said that his crews are going to be supplemented with additional personnel to deal with the winter storm. He said that while most of the snowfall accumulations are forecast for the South Peace, winds and drifting are expected to be the main issue north of the river.

Charbonneau added that while additional crews will be increasing patrols on area highways, residents can call YRB 24/7 to report problem spots, since snowplows can’t be everywhere at once. YRB’s toll-free number is 1-888-883-6688.

Caribou Road Services spokesperson Sarah Griffith said that the South Peace is expected to get anywhere from 5 to 25 centimetres of snow, with wind gusts of up to 70 km/hr and temperatures forecasted to go down to -18 degrees. Griffith said the largest amount of snow is going to fall in the Chetwynd, Pine Pass and Tumbler Ridge areas.

Griffith said that many side roads in the South Peace are narrow in places with very high snow banks. With the forecast snow and winds, it may cause side roads to become drifted-in and closed again. She said that residents who live in one of the drift-prone areas should make sure that they have an adequate supply of medication, food, and water to hold out until snow clearing equipment can clear the roads.

According to Griffith, CRS crews and hired equipment operators will continue to work around the clock to keep everything open.

For up-to-date road conditions, visit DriveBC.ca.

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