Updated - Pre-dawn deicing by Public Works crews keeping major streets clear

Press Release Date:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Update 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11: Public Works had crews out during the night deicing major streets and another shift working again before dawn. If you must drive this morning, please drive cautiously. Remember that neighborhood streets are not deiced and are likely to be slick until temperatures warm above freezing.
Meanwhile, calls related to frozen water pipes continue to pour in Tuesday ...

While much of the city was still asleep, Vancouver Public Works crews were out deicing major streets and around schools and medical facilities to keep these critical routes clear and open before today’s morning commute began. 

City of Vancouver crews began at 3 a.m., mixing up deicing brine and treating the critical arterials that form a safety grid connecting the community's police, fire and medical life-saving services. Crews also spent most of Monday pre-treating streets, well in advance of the light snowy conditions that left many areas slick today. Should conditions warrant it, they’ll be back out before dawn on Wednesday. Drivers are reminded to please leave sufficient space for deicers to do their job of keeping streets safe.

Meanwhile, recent frigid temperatures have caused problems with freezing water pipes throughout the area. Between 7 a.m. this past Saturday through 7 a.m. Monday, Vancouver Public Works Utilities crews fielded 51 calls from homes and businesses wanting their water shut off due to freezing or bursting pipes. A high volume of calls continued to pour in Monday and today.Typically, as temperatures warm and pipes thaw, plumbing problems become more apparent.

Water customers are urged to take preventive steps, such as insulating pipes, allowing a trickle of water to drip from an indoor faucet when temperatures are in the teens, and opening cupboard doors under sinks in kitchens to allow more heat to reach water pipes. Customers are responsible for protecting and repairing utility pipes on their property.  Customers who experience freezing water pipes are encouraged to leave a faucet open and call a plumber. Never try to thaw pipes with an open flame.

Regularly scheduled garbage, recycling and yard debris collections are reported to be on schedule today, according to Waste Connections of Washington. Should their drivers encounter any areas where road conditions are too slick for big trucks to operate safely, Waste Connections will contact customers and provide information about follow-up collections.

Neighborhood side streets, which do not get deiced or plowed due to resources and parked cars, are often slick following wintry weather conditions, and all drivers and pedestrians are urged to exercise caution. In Vancouver, the responsibility for keeping sidewalks passable belongs to adjacent property owners. Those who can are urged to lend a helping hand to elderly or disabled neighbors.

To report a problem with streets or to have water turned off at the meter, please call Public Works Operations at 360-487-8177. In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911. For severe weather tips and updates from Vancouver Public Works, please visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather.

Contact: Loretta Callahan, Public Information/Community Relations, Public Works Department, City of Vancouver, 360-487-8255 or 360-931-1910 or loretta.callahan@cityofvancouver.us.