The arrival of the next weather system and transition to warmer temperatures is beginning to pellet Vancouver with freezing rain, making for extremely treacherous travel conditions where it forms an icy shell over those streets still packed with snow. A coating of ice on trees already heavy with snow is likely to stress branches, as well, adding to potential driving hazards.
Vancouver Public Works encourages residents to stay home and stay safe. Those who must drive should go slow, leave plenty of additional room to stop, and keep a sharp watch for pedestrians and other vehicles.
Despite heavy snowfall earlier today, many travel lanes on Vancouver’s main arterial streets were reported down to bare, wet pavement this evening, thanks to round-the-clock plowing and deicing. At this time, those lanes remain clear and Public Works crews were working to keep them that way.
Crews have continued breaking up packed snow and pushing thick slush off overpasses, hills and critical routes that serve police, fire and emergency services. Crews were turning their focus to the major turn-lane pockets and secondary routes, but the arrival of freezing rain will require them to again shift attention to main routes that serve the community’s safety network. Side streets and residential streets remain slick and snowy.
There are more than 1,800 lane miles of streets in the City of Vancouver. During severe snow and ice storms, the City’s major routes, such as Mill Plain Boulevard and 164th Avenue, take top priority. Keeping them open and passable is a constant battle. Residential streets do not get deiced or plowed due to those demands, available resources and difficulties presented by narrow neighborhood streets with numerous parked cars.
Vancouver Public Works has 17 vehicles of varying sizes outfitted with combination plows and deicers to handle both snow or icy conditions. The City makes its own deicing solution, and continues to have ample supplies at both its east and west Vancouver Operations sites. Crews will continue working 12-hour shifts until warmer weather arrives and the threat of severe weather conditions has passed.
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. Those who can are encouraged to please lend a helping hand to elderly or disabled neighbors.
The City also reminds customers to protect water pipes and hose bibs during freezing conditions. Customers who experience freezing pipes are encouraged 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 more winter weather information and updates, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather.
Updates are also available through the City’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, available at www.cityofvancouver.us/socialmedia.
Contact: Loretta Callahan, Public Information/Community Relations, Department of Public Works, City of Vancouver, 360-487-8255 or firstname.lastname@example.org