What will winter bring? Vancouver Public Works officials encourages all to be prepared


Should rain showers turn to snow, crews and equipment are ready to roll, helping to keep our community safe

VANCOUVER – Mild one day, freezing the next. December brings changing seasons and increased potential for icy temperatures and wintry weather ahead. Should rain showers turn to snow, city of Vancouver Public Works crews and equipment are ready to roll, helping to keep our community safe.

Should rain showers turn to snow, city of Vancouver Public Works crews and equipment are ready to roll, helping to keep our community safe.
Photo courtesy of city of Vancouver

Streets: Timing, coordination, and preparation for whatever the weather brings are a critical part of Vancouver Public Works’ winter response. With more than 1,900 lane miles of paved streets in the city, Public Works crews 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. Crews also make the city’s own deicing solution at mixing stations in west and east Vancouver, and supplies are fully stocked.

During severe storms and emergencies, they work around the clock to keep open Vancouver’s major streets that connect public safety and medical services. Next in priority are key connectors, snow bus routes, hills, and areas around schools. Public Works’ severe weather webpage includes a snow route map that shows where snow-and-ice-fighting efforts are focused within the City of Vancouver. As always, Public Works crews remain on-call to assist Vancouver Fire, Vancouver Police and Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) when emergency access is needed to specific sites.

This effort to support public safety and keep critical streets passable is continuous, night and day, during severe winter weather storms. Due to these demands, limited resources, and difficulties posed by multiple driveways and parked cars, neighborhood residential streets are not plowed or deiced.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to be prepared, too.

Sidewalks: Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping adjacent sidewalks passable through snow and ice, as well as managing their driveways and private parking lots. Clearing sidewalks around homes and businesses is not just the law; it’s also the right thing to do for our community’s safety and accessibility. Those who can are encouraged to lend a helping hand to neighbors that may need assistance with sidewalks and other services during severe winter weather.

Businesses and residents are encouraged to have traction devices, snow shovels, environmentally friendly deicer, and emergency kits stocked and ready, while supplies are available in local stores.

Private Water Pipes/Plumbing: The best time to prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting is before temperatures plummet. Owners are responsible for water pipes and plumbing on their private properties and in buildings and homes. Vancouver Public Works Water Utility recommends taking time now to disconnect garden hoses and insulate outside faucets/hose bibs, as well as water pipes near outer walls and in crawl spaces, basements, garages and/or attics. Outdoor sprinkler systems should be prepped for cold weather according to manufacturers’ directions. 

Garbage and Recycling Services: Snowy or icy conditions can also impact garbage, recycling, and organics collections. Customers in Vancouver and throughout Clark County can sign up to receive service alerts and notices through a smart phone or tablet, by email or by phone, using the free RecycleRight app. Consider having spare containers handy that can be used to hold extra garbage and/or recycling materials should service be delayed due to hazardous road conditions. 

Learn More: To view Vancouver’s snow route priority map, get winter weather tips, and stay inform during severe weather, please visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather. Severe weather updates are also posted on Vancouver Public Works’ Facebook and Twitter channels.  

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. Not certain if the address is within the city of Vancouver? Visit www.cityofvancouver.us/CityLimitsMap.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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