In aftermath of snow and ice, Vancouver Public Works readies for potential heavy rains

Press Release Date:
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

As temperatures rise and recent snow melts from view, Vancouver Public Works is cleaning up and preparing a round of heavy rains forecast to arrive starting tonight or early Thursday.

This past Monday, while snow was still piled up along curbs and packed on side streets, Vancouver Public Works Stormwater crews began breaking up ice and clearing out catch basins in low spots and other areas prone to drainage issues. Their goal - Use the break between the snowmelt and predicted heavy rains to help runoff properly flow away as easily and as quickly as possible, decreasing the potential for localized flooding.

As a result of the storm and cleanup, regular sweeping of neighborhood streets has been temporarily delayed, and is expected to resume next week. Street sweeping schedules are posted on the City's website at and on the Public Works Facebook page at

The snow and ice storms that began this past Thursday are becoming mostly a memory now. By Monday, all first and secondary priority streets had been plowed. As a result of the higher temperatures and subsequent melting over the days that followed, side streets and residential areas are also now mostly clear. In Vancouver, adjacent property owners are responsible for clearing and maintaining sidewalks.

Garbage and recycling collections, which experienced interruptions from late last week through Monday, were also back on track. Customers who had missed or canceled service due to severe weather are encouraged to check the Waste Connections of Washington website at for follow-up information.

Vancouver Public Works Streets crews worked around the clock during the recent storms, deicing and plowing the highest priority streets that serve as a critical network for public safety. Equipment Services crews kept pace fixing equipment and installing traction devices on Vancouver Police and Operations' vehicles. Meanwhile, Public Works Water crews responded to one emergency water main break -- a 1940s cast iron water main at West McLoughlin Boulevard and Markle Avenue – and to multiple requests from customers who needed their water turned off due to frozen or bursting pipes. Water operations crews assisted 46 residences and three commercial businesses from this past Thursday to Monday.

Freezing and thawing also can take a toll on streets. It's not uncommon for patched potholes to release their asphalt fillings and require new patches after a deep, icy freeze.

Potholes or other problems with City of Vancouver streets or utilities can be reported by calling Public Works Operations at 360-487-8177 or by submitting online at In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

If and when severe weather arises, Vancouver Public Works information and updates are available at

Residents are also encouraged to look for updates of all kinds through the City’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, available at

Contact: Loretta Callahan, Public Information/Community Relations, Public Works Department, City of Vancouver, Washington, 360-487-8255 (office), 360-931-1910 (cell) or