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City prepared for snow, stocked with salt

January 5 2017 Residents urged to clear fresh snowfall early

"I want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation, and for doing your part in keeping our city safe,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson

City of Vancouver salt bay

With more snow forecast for tonight and through the weekend, public safety is our top priority.

Snow-rain-freeze cycles over the last month have left many residential streets and sidewalks covered with ice.

With temperatures expected to remain well below seasonal levels in the coming weeks, we continue to deploy City resources at full capacity to prepare for more snow and ice.

Help ensure everyone can get around the city 

Clearing sidewalks, whether you are a resident or have a business in Vancouver, is a vital part of ensuring that the city can be navigated by everyone. 

While salt helps to break up ice and snow, it is not a replacement for snow removal. 

How to prepare for upcoming snowfall

We strongly recommend that in advance of the next anticipated snowfall, residents and businesses:

  • Shovel off any remaining ice or snow on sidewalks or driveways 
  • Lay salt down on sidewalks and driveways prior to the snowfall to melt ice and make it easier to remove
  • Shovel new snow as soon as possible to prevent build up and melting into an ice crust. While you have until 10:00am until after a snowfall to shovel sidewalks in front of your property, getting out early before the morning commute will help ensure snow isn’t packed down, making it easier to remove. 
  • Help neighbours who cannot clear their own sidewalks, if you are able
  • Wear proper winter footwear to guard against slippery sidewalks. Use main roads when possible as they tend to have less snow and ice than residential and side streets.
  • If you choose to drive, ensure your car has winter tires

Report ice and snow-related issues with VanConnect

If you see an area that needs attention, please report it immediately with the VanConnect app so our crews can respond.

Download VanConnect  

If you are unable to access the app, phone 3-1-1. 

We are monitoring incoming requests to identify problem areas and dispatching crews to address those issues.

Ample salt supply for upcoming snowfall

We would like to confirm that we have not run out of road salt, and regular shipments of salt continue to arrive to help crews in their efforts to melt snow and ice from streets and sidewalks.

There is ample salt supply for us to prepare for the anticipated upcoming snowfall.

Additional supplies of free salt for residential use are being delivered this afternoon to select fire halls.

Five warming centres open overnight

In partnership with the Park Board and supported by staff and volunteers, we continue to provide additional warm and welcoming space for anyone who needs to get out of the cold as this unusually cold and snowy winter weather continues. 

Five community locations open at 9:00pm and will remain open overnight as warming centres for the foreseeable future: 

  • West End Community Centre, 870 Denman St
  • Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way
  • Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier St
  • Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main St
  • The Hall, 1739 Venables

To date, there have been close to 1,800 visits to these temporary warming centres. Community centres and other public buildings are also available during their open hours as spaces to warm up.

Work on priority side streets about 80% complete

“Our street crews, and an additional approximately 260 redeployed City staff, have been working 24/7 since the first snowfall in December to brine, salt and sand priority routes, and clear residual snow and ice, to maintain street safety,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Over the last two days, we’ve made progress with putting down a mixture of sand and salt on priority side streets to maintain access to more than 100 hospitals, schools, and community centres, and that work is now about 80% complete.

“I understand the difficulties and frustrations this unusual winter weather has caused Vancouver residents. It’s been challenging for us, too. I want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation, and for doing your part in keeping our city safe,” Robertson adds.