City of Vancouver continues 24/7 snow removal efforts, warming shelters available

Gastown in Vancouver downtown on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Rattan

CITY of Vancouver crews are currently working around the clock to clear priority routes, as the snow continues to fall this evening.

Throughout the day the City of Vancouver has had full complement of salt and snow units working to clear major routes following last night’s substantial snowfall that left accumulations of roughly 20cm in some spots, the City said on Wednesday evening.

Hundreds of additional staff from branches across Engineering Services have been hard at work hand shoveling throughout this afternoon. With such substantial and widespread accumulations across all areas of the city, it’s been taking our crews some time to clear all major routes. The same scenario is playing out across our neighbouring municipalities in the Lower Mainland as crews work hard to catch up.

The expected snowfall began in the afternoon and up to 12 cm can be expected across the City before the snow turns to light flurries around 10 p.m. If the break in the snow holds through the night as expected, the 30 salt and snow units on duty will have an increased chance of clearing major routes in time for the morning commute. The City will have 40-50 trucks out for Thursday’s daytime shift to continue the work.

For Thursday, the City is expecting rain and also a risk of freezing rain which we’ll be treating with salt.

Warming centres

Three warming centres are open Wednesday tonight:

·         Britannia Community Centre, 9 p.m.-8:30 a.m.

·         Powell Street Getaway, 9 p.m.-7 a.m.

·         Overdose Prevention Society, 11 p.m.-8 a.m.

All are welcome and people can bring their carts and pets. People with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centres and hot drinks and snacks are available. Since Sunday, January 12 more than 900 people have visited the City’s warming centres.

The City and partners have also continued to provide additional extreme weather response (EWR) shelter spaces. The City’s EWRs welcomed over 100 people yesterday evening.

Carnegie Community Centre and Gathering Place are opening at a.m. to accommodate guests leaving EWR and warming centre sites. Residents are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 for shelter information.