Vancouver Public Works crews are working around the clock plowing streets and keeping essential equipment and vehicles running.
Public Works’ Street crew began Thursday in the early morning hours deicing the City’s major routes, as well as overpasses, hills, bridges and other trouble spots where icy conditions can develop quickly. By late afternoon, the snow accumulation called for plows.
The City's plan is to keep at it through the night.
Street crew are now operating on 12-hour shifts, battling the winter blitz night and day. Meanwhile, Public Works’ Equipment Services crew have been quickly installing traction devices on Vancouver Police cars, deicing trucks and plows, and other essential vehicles. Repairs and fixes are critical to keeping them operating and on the road, so Equipment Services crew had also switched to 12-hour shifts.
Vancouver Public Works has 17 vehicles of varying sizes equipped with combination plows and deicers to handle whatever wintry conditions might arise. Liquid and granular deicer at Public Works’ east and west Vancouver sites remain fully stocked. The City makes its own deicing solution, up to as much as 20,000 gallons per hour when needed.
There are more than 1,800 lane miles of streets in the City of Vancouver. During severe weather, Vancouver Public Works’ top priority are major arterials, such as Mill Plain Boulevard and 164th Avenue, which serve the community’s vital public safety network. Keeping those open and passable is a process that must be constantly repeated during major storm events. Side streets and neighborhood streets do not get deiced or plowed due to priority demands, resources and difficulties presented by narrow streets and parked cars.
Though snow may be tapering off for a bit, current forecasts call for temperatures to remain freezing and conditions slick. More snow, possibly transitioning to freezing rain, is expected Friday.
Drivers are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel. For those who must travel, please drive slowly and keep a close eye out for other vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
To report a problem with City of Vancouver streets or water, please call Public Works Operations Dispatch at 360-487-8177. In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.
More information about the City's severe winter weather response and updates, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather.
Updates are also available through the City's social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter at www.cityofvancouver.us/socialmedia.
Contact: Loretta Callahan, Public Information/Community Relations, Department of Public Works, City of Vancouver, 360-759-4479 (office) or 360-931-1910 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org