Snow preps underway as flurries dust south coast
British Columbia's south coast could soon look like a winter wonderland.
Environment Canada has predicted a high likelihood of snow for Vancouver from Friday until Wednesday next week.
The agency expects a 40 per cent chance of flurries for the area during the day, increasing to 60 per cent by the evening. Temperatures are expected to remain hovering around the freezing mark for most of the weekend.
A Pacific front is forecast to spread snow and warmer air to the region on Tuesday. Freezing levels are expected to rise with snow changing to rain near the coast.
Let it snow, let it snow
Preparations for winter weather are well underway in Vancouver. This year the city has added to its snow removal arsenal, including an extra-large snow blower formerly at CFB Comox.
"At the moment I have 51 trucks of various descriptions from our large trucks to our one-tonne dumps that are completely outfitted with plows and salters," said Murray Wightman.
Snow removal will begin with 14 major snow routes, including roads considered major transit ways.
"Then right away we start working on the bike routes as well we also dispatch trucks to the hospitals," Wightman told CTV News.
There's also a contingency plan to clear side streets in the case of an extreme or prolonged snowfall.
Yesterday Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson told CTV News the snow woes of winter 2008 would not be repeated.
"The problems that emerged in last year's big snow we're very conscious of how we're going to manage those if they do accumulate in those kinds of numbers this year."
The city has also made bylaw changes requiring sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice by 10 a.m. each day. That responsibility falls to property and business owners.
TransLink is also preparing for the weather. Anti-icing trucks have already been out coating trolley wires to keep them from freezing.
Spokesperson Drew Snider said SkyTrain is prepared to run additional trains overnight if the snow builds up to keep the tracks clear.
Extra workers will also be positioned at stations in case snow triggers a shutdown.
A spokesperson at Vancouver International Airport said the facility is ready for any and all new snow thanks to a $30 million investment in aircraft de-icing systems and snow plows.
Last winter, record snowfall crippled YVR, causing chaos and delays for thousands of travellers.
"Passengers will get in and out of there. They're going to get home for the holidays," Brett Patterson, manager of airside operations, said last month.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber