Some side roads get plowing attention in Chilliwack as east winds die down

Three staffers at city hall have been working the phones to answer calls from citizens inquiring about why their snow isn't removed yet

A front-end loader clears snow from Hazel Street near First Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Plowing crews were starting to get to some of residential areas of Chilliwack on Thursday after the east winds started to die down. Less wind and drifting snow meant Operations staff could finally redirect meagre snow removal resources to some of the unplowed

A front-end loader clears snow from Hazel Street near First Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Plowing crews were starting to get to some of residential areas of Chilliwack on Thursday after the east winds started to die down. Less wind and drifting snow meant Operations staff could finally redirect meagre snow removal resources to some of the unplowed

Plowing crews were starting to get to some of residential areas of Chilliwack on Thursday after the east winds started to die down.

Less wind and drifting snow meant Operations staff could finally redirect meagre snow removal resources to some of the unplowed, lower-priority roads.

Three staffers at city hall have been working the phones in response to calls from citizens inquiring about why their snow isn’t removed yet, and mad about the priority system that keeps crews strictly focused on the main arterial routes.

“We have received a large number of calls and emails to the Mayor’s office,” according to a release from city hall.

So which streets are set to get plowed now?

“The Director of Operations has not identified the exact streets that will be cleared and I don’t think he will be identifying them at this time,” according to city rep.

The windy weather over the past couple of days has been constantly covering some of the major arterial routes with drifting snow, which has literally kept crews busy removing snow and ice around the clock. Almost 50 cm of snow fell over the five days.

“As you are probably aware, our crews have been working 24 hours a day since last weekend’s snowfall to clear higher priority roads,” according to the press release from City of Chilliwack. “We have been dealing with a large amount of drifting snow that has left many roads closed for long periods of time.”

Fortunately, the east winds are supposed to ease up as of Thursday.

“As of this morning, the city has been able to divert some limited equipment into residential areas to start to improve conditions on the residential streets.”

Many citizens have been critical of the city’s Ice and Snow priority system, which has crews clearing arterial, collector and hillside roads first, in that order, leaving local roads untouched until the others are under control.

Crews however will be chipping away at some of the local/residential roads, but concentrating on the main collector roads in those areas. They probably won’t get to every single side street, but they will do their best.

“Your patience and understanding is appreciated as crews work hard to keep traffic moving safely around the city.”

Chilliwack has 15 snow plows/sanding trucks, six backhoes, four graders and a variety of smaller plowing trucks, and the budget for Snow and Ice Removal was $1.1 million for 2016.

Road priorities are listed here: http://www.chilliwack.com/main/page.cfm?id=2290