City of Vancouver preparing for snow over Family Day long weekend

THE current forecast for Vancouver is calling for snow this weekend and the City is preparing its crews to respond. Flurries are set to begin this evening and persist into late Saturday afternoon becoming moderate to heavy at times. The City says we could see up to 8 cm of snow in some areas by tomorrow with more on the way overnight on Sunday and into Monday.

“Our response throughout the weekend will be guided by the weather. We have 3,000 tonnes of salt, 100 vehicles and equipment and hundreds of staff available to deploy as required. Crews will focus on treating priority routes for ice and snow. All week our staff have been out patrolling and treating priority routes for ice, primarily with brine,” says the City.

If you do need to be on the roads, travel with caution and give way to, or stay at a safe distance when following a salt and plow truck. If your vehicle is parked on a major route, plan ahead by moving it to a side street or garage.

As always, residents and business owners can play a big role in ensuring snow doesn’t become hazardous for people with mobility challenges. It’s important that snow is cleared promptly from walkways and sidewalks before it hardens to ice. 

All property owners and occupants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks around their property by 10 o’clock the morning after a snowfall, seven days a week.

If you are unable to clear your walk and have no other alternatives, you are encouraged to sign up for the Snow Angel Program to be connected to a volunteer. The Snow Angel program helps match volunteers with seniors and people with mobility issues to help clear their sidewalks. Sign up for the Snow Angel program

Warming centres and extra shelter space

Warming centres will be open from February 12-16  at the following locations:

* Britannia Warming Centre – 1648 E 1st Ave – 8 p.m.-8 a.m.

* Powell Street Getaway – 528 Powell St – 9 p.m.-7 a.m.

* Creekside Community Centre – 1 Athletes Way – 10 p.m-7 a.m.

* Vancouver Aquatic Centre – 1050 Beach Avenue – 10 p.m-7 a.m.

* Odd Fellows Hall – 1443 West 8 Ave – 10 p.m-7 a.m.

The City encourages anyone who is sleeping outside to visit one of these centres which are open to all, including people who have pets and carts, and will provide hot drinks and snacks. This year, measures are in place at warming centres to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and all sites have reduced capacity to support physical distancing requirements. Warming centres have opened for 11 nights with over 3,300 visits this season.

Warming centres are activated when the temperature reaches -5°C or below (or when it feels like -5°C or below). These sites are in addition to Extreme Weather Response shelters, which have opened throughout the winter season when the temperature is 0 degrees or feels like 0. These additional shelter spaces are opened in partnership with BC Housing and have been activated for 79 nights so far this winter.

More information on the City’s winter response is available here.