Vancouver Public Works prepares for forecast of snow, freezing rain


Trucks with plows and full tanks of deicing solution are ready to roll

A two-round bout of freezing, snowy winter weather is forecast to begin Thursday and continue through the weekend. With a close eye on the forecasts, city of Vancouver Public Works street crews are transitioning to 24/7 coverage starting tonight, in advance of Thursday’s winter weather system. Trucks with plows and full tanks of deicing solution are ready to roll.

Timing, coordination and preparation are a critical part of the city’s winter weather response. For streets, the course of action for this first bout on Thursday will largely depend upon what precedes the predicted coming snow or possible freezing rain. If conditions are sufficiently dry, Public Works crew will pretreat streets with deicer in advance of the winter storm system. However, the current forecast shows rain, which limits the effectiveness of early deicing.

With a close eye on the forecasts, city of Vancouver Public Works street crews are transitioning to 24/7 coverage starting tonight, in advance of Thursday’s winter weather system. File photo
With a close eye on the forecasts, city of Vancouver Public Works street crews are transitioning to 24/7 coverage starting tonight, in advance of Thursday’s winter weather system. File photo

Later Friday through Saturday – Round Two – could bring more snow and continued freezing temperatures. The best chance for that to melt, according to the National Weather Service, might not be until Monday.

There are more than 1,900 lane miles of streets in the city of Vancouver. During severe weather events, Public Works crew and equipment are strategically deployed in zones throughout the community to efficiently maximize the city’s response to snow, sleet and icy winter conditions using the equipment and crews available. Equipment and vehicles used for normal operations and maintenance work are converted with plows and deicers. Crew also make their own deicing solution at mixing stations in both west and east Vancouver, and supplies are currently fully stocked.

Vancouver Public Works’ first priority is the critical network of arterial streets — the major routes that connect police, fire and emergency medical services. Next come the remaining major streets, snow bus routes and key areas around hills and intersections. As weather conditions, resources and time allow, crews will plow/deice collectors and public parking lots. At all times, Public Works crew are ready to assist Vancouver Fire and Police to clear the way if emergency access is needed to a specific site. View the City of Vancouver Public Works’ snow route map here.

During severe weather, the effort to support public safety is a constant job, night and day, particularly in prolonged weather events. Neighborhood residential streets are not deiced or plowed due to these ongoing demands, limited resources, and difficulties posed by multiple driveways and parked cars.

Snow and icy conditions can also impact garbage and recycling collections. Stay informed with garbage and recycling service alerts and notifications, available through the RecycleRight app or web tool. Learn more at www.cityofvancouver.us/ServiceAlerts.

Residents are also encouraged to be prepared with traction devices, snow shovels and other emergency necessities in advance of severe winter weather. Those who must travel during a winter weather event are urged to slow down, drive alert and allow additional time to reach their destination safely. Leave plenty of room for deicers and snowplows to work, please.

Remember to insulate water pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. And be sure to keep sidewalks adjacent to your home or business clear and passable. If you can, please help neighbors who may need assistance clearing walkways.

For more info and tips, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather.

To report an urgent problem with city of Vancouver streets or utilities, please call Public Works Operations at (360) 487-8177 and follow the prompts outside of regular business hours. To verify if an address is within the City of Vancouver, check here: www.cityofvancouver.us/citylimitsmap.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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