Vancouver’s major streets in good shape, exercise caution on side streets

Press Release Date:
Sunday, February 9, 2014

As warming temperatures slowly release Vancouver from nature's icy grip, major streets are mostly bare, wet pavement and Vancouver Public Works crews are clearing hills and secondary streets of snow. Caution continues to be urged when traveling.

It's a far cry from this morning, when the entire city was coated in an eerie glaze of ice.

The City’s deicers and plows weren't the only things fitted with traction devices in the early hours today. Crew fastened ice-gripping cleats to boots to get to vehicles safely and continue their round-the-clock push on keeping critical top priority streets passable for police, fire and emergency services.

Temperatures are expected to break through and remain above freezing throughout Vancouver, though a slight potential remains for freezing rain in areas east of Interstate 205, according to the National Weather Service. With the improving conditions, Vancouver Public Works currently anticipates transitioning back later tonight from its full-court, 24-hour staffing levels to its regular night and day shifts.

Throughout the region, Monday's morning commute is expected to be messy, as a series of rain-heavy weather systems arrives.

Vancouver Public Works reminds drivers that side streets and neighborhood streets remain slick and slushy. Drivers are urged to go slowly, leave plenty of room to stop, and be cautious when turning off main arterials onto potentially slippery side streets.

With curbside drainage catch basins packed with snow, heavy rainfall could put a temporary strain on stormwater systems, too, increasing the potential for localized flooding.

Keeping sidewalks clear and safe is the responsibility of adjacent property owners in Vancouver. Snow removed from sidewalks and driveways should be piled on yards, not in streets where it will add to melting snow pack and increase flooding potential. With the likelihood of road spray, drivers are asked to be respectful of pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles nearby.

There are more than 1,800 lane miles of streets in the City of Vancouver. During severe snow and ice storms, major arterial streets, which form e a travel network for our community's public safety services, must take top priority. Residential streets do not get deiced or plowed due to demands, available resources and difficulties presented by narrow neighborhood streets with numerous driveways and parked cars.

Vancouver Public Works has 17 vehicles of varying sizes outfitted with combination plows and deicers to handle both snow or ice. Crews have been working 12-hour shifts in response to recent severe winter weather conditions. The City makes its own deicing solution, and crews have kept up supplies at both its east and west Vancouver Operations sites during this steady round of snow and ice.

Public Works' Water crews also have been responding to issues as they arise. A thaw is the most common time to discover a water line break due to frozen pipes, and the City reminds customers who experience freezing pipes to leave a faucet open and call a plumber. Never try to thaw pipes with a flame.

To report a problem with City of Vancouver streets or water, please call Public Works Operations at 360-487-8177.  In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

For winter weather information and updates, visit

Updates are also available through the City’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, available at


Contact: Loretta Callahan, Public Information/Community Relations, Department of Public Works, City of Vancouver, 360-487-8255 or