Snow keeps City of Port Alberni busy

City crews were out all weekend plowing main roads, and on Monday had moved to plowing residential streets.

Teresa Asman captures a photo of a tree on Strathern that could no longer bear the weight of Saturday’s snowfall

A winter storm brought more than 20 centimetres of snow to the Alberni Valley this weekend.

The snowfall began early Friday morning, but schools in School District 70 were not affected and stayed open. City buses also continued to run over the weekend.

Snowfall grew heavier Friday evening, leading to a partial closure of the dip on 10th Avenue due to quickly accumulating snow. Weather website alberniweather.ca recorded 26 centimetres of snow by noon on Saturday.

This snowfall tapered off on Sunday, and Environment Canada lifted the snowfall warning for inland Vancouver Island.

City crews were out all weekend plowing main roads, and on Monday had moved to plowing residential streets.

City crews have also been de-icing the streets with salt and salt brine–a mixture of salt and water used to prevent snow from freezing to the asphalt.

“Those are the weapons we have,” said city operations manager Wilf Taekema. “The temperatures have come up now, so it’s working.”

Garbage trucks made it out as scheduled on Monday morning. Taekema said all city vehicles are equipped with winter tires and chains in the case of weather like this.

“It does happen,” he said. “Not that often, but it does happen.”

Port Alberni also had two broken water mains this weekend due to the weather. One was a crack in a water main on the corner of Margaret Street and Lathom Road Friday night. The other was a crack in a water main on Redford Street on Saturday morning.

“It is due to the cold weather,” said city water systems charge hand Amar Giri.

“The ground is freezing and thawing, which can lead to breakages.”

He added that finding the cracks is sometimes difficult. The repair on Friday night took only three hours, but the Saturday morning repair took seven hours due to difficulty locating the crack.

Both water mains are fully repaired and waiting for asphalt, which will be put down in the spring, he said.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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