Surrey says crews used 3,000 tonnes of salt in 24 hours
SURREY, B.C. -- Another blast of winter weather hit communities south of the Fraser River on Tuesday.
The storm that blew into the region prompted snowfall warnings for Surrey, Langley and most of the Fraser Valley, with Environment Canada expecting from five to 20 centimetres to fall by Tuesday evening.
Accumulation varied widely across the Lower Mainland.
In Surrey, snow began sticking on roadways in the afternoon. The main roads appeared mainly bare, but were deceivingly slippery in many areas.
Massive truckloads of salt were delivered to the Surrey operations centre Tuesday morning. Crews were replenishing the 9,000 tonnes of salt that’s been used so far this winter.
“We’ve had staff out since 4 this morning,” said Ray Kerr, manager of engineering operations for the City of Surrey.
“We have 38 trucks on the road. They’ll continue to work around the clock until such time that there’s no further issues.”
Surrey workers have used 3,000 tonnes of salt in just 24 hours. Residents told CTV News the city appeared to be handling the weather better than the last snowstorm in January.
“I actually felt like the city was prepared. They salted starting yesterday and I was like OK, this is like happening,” said Nikki Marre as she walked near Guildford Mall.
It’s a strategy crews said they were unable to use during last month’s winter storm.
“If the roads are dry prior to the snow storm starting, we have an opportunity to put the brine down," explained Kerr. "If it’s raining then turns to snow, then you really don’t have that chance to do that."
But the wetter snow comes with problems of its own, creating deceiving conditions on the road.
Even with bare pavement showing, slush and puddles can make hydroplaning a real risk.
Pedestrians also faced challenges during the wet storm.
“I’m just watching a little bit because getting sprayed by a puddle of a passing car is not fun,” said Maira Shmyrova, as she walked near 104 Avenue and 152nd Street.
People on ATV’s could be seen clearing the sidewalks around Guildford Mall, but many walksways in the neighbourhood remained under a layer of wet snow.
“I have bags on my shoes because they’re soaked like underneath," said Victoria Hynes. "It’s pretty hectic."
Surrey has spent nearly half of its $3.7 million winter budget for the year.
Meanwhile, the situation further east was very different.
Residents of Abbotsford and Chilliwack reported very little snow accumulation in their neighbourhoods.
Officials are warning drivers that the roads could still be more slippery than they appear.