VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The heavy, wet snow has led to a few power outages around the region with the weight of it breaking branches which then fall on power lines. And with a big freeze expected in the coming days that could put more strain on trees and your power supply.
BC Hydro says it is preparing and it’s providing some tips on what you need to know to be ready at home.
Mora Scott with the crown corporation says the weight of snow and ice can be a nuisance for crews. “We definitely see trees and branches coming down on our lines, sometimes for a fix it’s as easy as the crews just removing the branch or the tree from the line.”
Other times, it’s not so easy. But she adds they’re ready for what may come this week. Overnight temperatures will be well below zero and we may barely break the freezing mark during the day.
Then there’s the chance of more snow on Thursday. “We do use a team of in-house meteorologists to track these storms so we can prepare for them before they hit,” she adds. “It’s difficult to predict how much damage a storm will cause or how long a power outage will last that’s why we always encourage everyone to be prepared.”
Scott says at home you should keep a flashlight, extra batteries, and a charged cell phone handy and beware of candles and space heaters — you’re encouraged to use them safely but don’t fall asleep.
After cancelling the snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver, Environment Canada quickly re-issued it. The region is expected to get another snowfall on Thursday.
Meantime, city crews everywhere are salting the roads and de-icing high-volume areas as temperatures dip this week. You are being reminded to clear any snow in front of your business or home by 10 a.m. after a snowfall, otherwise bylaws in some cities — like Vancouver — can fine you.
The City of Vancouver has nearly two dozen plow trucks out and you are being told to avoid walking in the street to avoid walking in the snow.
“We want people to really make sure that they keep their sidewalks clear of ice and snow, because we do have a lot of seniors who do have mobility challenges, and even the slightest bit of ice or snow can result in a fall,” says CEO of the BC Care Providers Association Daniel Fontaine.
Vancouver Police say they’re receiving a higher-than-normal number of calls today. They want drivers to be attentive and they’re warning people to slow down and to be aware.
Constable Jason Doucette adds pedestrians also need to do their part. “Use sidewalks, cross the intersection in a marked crosswalk, make eye contact with the driver and we’re also asking pedestrians to be patient.”
He says if you are venturing out in the dicey weather, make sure to give yourself plenty of extra time.