Slush and snow is being removed from local roads as warmer weather sets in. (Morning Star file photo)

North Okanagan crews respond to warmer weather and snow melt

Clearing snow and slush from local roads top of agenda

City crews are taking the next steps to clear snow and slush from local roads.

“Now that the extreme cold snap has ended, snow is starting to melt across the city,” said Christy Poirier, manager of communications and grants. “Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures above zero for the next few days, which means areas that were covered with compact snow are now starting to face slushy conditions.”

READ MORE: Vernon dumped with fourth snowiest January in three decades

Road crews are working through the priority route process, clearing main streets first, followed by residential roads and then lanes and cul-de-sacs.

“In some areas, such as the downtown core, motorists may notice snow is being plowed into the centre of the road. This is done to remove snow and slush from the gutters and to improve parking in the core,” said Chris Ovens, manager of roads, drainage and airport. “We will be monitoring these areas and if the warmer weather doesn’t melt the snow in a timely manner, we will work on removing it.”

The city is often asked why snow is plowed to the side of the road and stored instead of being hauled away. This is because the cost to remove and haul snow is very high and would significantly impact the city’s operating budget.

“We do remove snow when it’s necessary,” said Ovens, “but we have a number of other options available before taking that step.”

READ MORE: Don’t just blame AIM, all North Okanagan road crews struggling


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