Road crews across the Tri-Cities are pivoting from dealing with floods to the potential for icy streets and even wet snow as early as tonight (Dec. 3)
A blast of cold weather is forecast to hit the region through the weekend, according to Environment Canada, while just a few days ago, workers were cleaning out catch basins, pumping out storm sewers, and closing trails due to flooding.
Now a completely different weather picture is in view and road crews are on high alert.
Salt and brining trucks are out and about and planning for possible snow plowing if more than a light dusting of wet snow hits higher areas.
Environment Canada issued an alert for Metro Vancouver before 10:15 a.m. today that up to 5 cm of snow could fall on some areas such as Citadel Heights in Port Coquitlam, Burke Mountain and Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam and the Heritage Woods neighbourhoods in Port Moody.
“A low pressure system brushing the south coast will bring a chance of wet snow to the Fraser Valley and Howe Sound,” the federal forecaster’s special weather statement reads.
“For Metro Vancouver, areas above 200 metres are more likely to see wet snow.”
So, how are crews are preparing?
In Coquitlam, pre-salting of roads has already begun in anticipation of cold weather and possible light snow on Westwood Plateau and Burke Mountain.
As early as 4 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 4), crews are on standby for more salting and possible snow plowing depending on the severity of the event.
"Our equipment is prepared and the salt shed is stocked, we will focus on our priority roads which include arterial and collector roads at higher elevations," stated Inder Tung, public works manager.
Pre-salting is done to reduce the accumulation of snow and slush on concrete and asphalt pavements.
For more information, including the city's snow plowing policy, visit here.
In Port Moody, city crews have completed pre-salting Priority 1 and 2 roads yesterday (Dec. 2) in advance of colder temperatures last night, and are completing pre-salting on all other remaining roads today as well as some sidewalks and pedestrian areas.
"City staff monitor weather forecasts on an ongoing basis and will continue to plan our response based on these forecasts and the conditions we observe across the city," stated Jeff Little, manager of operations.
Port Moody residents are encouraged to visit the following:
Port Coquitlam, meanwhile, has city has two trucks applying salt brine to the city's road network and staff will monitor the weather forecasts and respond appropriately, according to the city's mayor.
In an email, Mayor Brad West said the city has a comprehensive snow and Ice plan.
He noted as well that brining is an effective preventative measure which serves as a barrier between the pavement surface and snow, reducing the likelihood of icy roads making the road network much safer.
PoCo residents are encouraged to visit the city's website for tips and information. For up to date information, follow the city's social media channels.