Slippery roads force school closure in Alberni Valley

Slippery road conditions in Alberni prompted school closures across School District 70 on Friday, superintendent Cam Pinkerton said.

Slippery road conditions in the Alberni Valley prompted school closures across School District 70 on Friday, superintendent Cam Pinkerton said.

A notice informing residents that schools were closed was posted to the school district’s website just after 6:30 a.m. And callers to the SD 70 board office were greeted with the message “All School District 70 schools are closed due to road conditions.”

The district follows a protocol during adverse weather conditions, Pinkerton said.

The district’s transportation captain as well as secretary treasurer Lindsay Cheetham surveyed road conditions in Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake and Cherry Creek at 5:30 a.m. and found them to be slippery. “Conditions improved later on but we had to make a decision and get notification out then,” Pinkerton said.

According to Environment Canada, the Alberni Valley was blanketed with a light snowfall on Thursday night. Temperatures hovered around zero and there was a freezing drizzle Friday morning.

Safety of children and bus drivers are the primary factors in calling for a school closure because of weather. “The buses may look big with big tires but we’ve had a few slide on the road already,” Pinkerton said. “I’d rather be having a conversation about why we closed a school than for something to happen and be having a conversation about why we didn’t.”

The snowfall kept road maintenance crews busy across the Alberni Valley.

The city kept two brine trucks and three staff going on Thursday in advance of the snowfall. Additional equipment was added on Friday, streets superintendent Randy Fraser said. “The type of snow we had really helped, really small flakes. The roads were slushy this morning but that was it.”

Fraser reminded residents that in the event of a heavy snowfall the city’s priorities are to keep bus routes, and main arterial roads such as Stamp Avenue, Redford Street, Argyle Street, Gertrude Street and Third Avenue plowed.

Road conditions in Alberni’s rural areas were slippery on Friday morning, said Craig Peterson, road foreman for Emcon Services Inc. Emcon is contracted by the Ministry of Transportation to provide maintenance along highways and main roads in the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District.

“Sproat Lake got about three centimetres of snow and there was about four-to-six centimetres of snow out at the end of Beaver Creek,” Peterson said.

Emcon had five trucks and one grader working through the night.

When there is a big snow Emcon’s priorities are highways followed by bus routes then rural roads if they can get to them, he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

Port Alberni workers to honour Day of Mourning on April 28

Annual event honours workers who lost their lives on the job

Tseshaht First Nation athlete honoured with provincial sports award

Rain Thomas competes in three different sports

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

RCMP looking to retrace steps of woman found dead on Kelowna beach

Caitlin Midori Bradley, a 29-year-old dancer at a Kelowna bar, was originally from Surrey

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Two back-to-back earthquakes strike off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Most Read