Opinion: Don’t put that shovel away yet

Although it doesn’t feel like it now, warmer weather is set to return Monday, and with it rain.

Chilliwack woke up to a winter wonderland Sunday morning as snow that began to fall on Saturday continued in earnest overnight.

Nearly 28 centimetres of snow fell between 5:30 Saturday evening and 7 a.m. Sunday morning, according Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada.

That brought the total accumulation for December to 47.8 cm – snow that fell over a five-day period.

The 30-year average for a five-day snowfall is 37 cm, Pannett said.

But while the snowfall may have created many postcard moments around town, it was hardly a holiday for city work crews.

They had prepped for the snowfall, coating local streets with a salty brine to speed melting.

However, the volume of snow quickly overwhelmed any early preparation that could have been done, and soon the big stuff was on the road.

And crews haven’t stopped yet.

Working from a priority list, city crews have been clearing streets on a 24-hour basis since Sunday. And while that won’t mean the side streets are clear, it does mean that all major roads in Chilliwack, have been plowed.

The work is not over yet. Blowing snow in particular remains a challenge. And more snow is forecast for this weekend.

But there’s a job we can to do as well. In addition to keeping our sidewalks clear, we need to clear storm drains and catch basins.

Although it doesn’t feel like it now, warmer weather is set to return Monday, and with it rain. If the moisture has no place to go, localized flooding will occur.

So don’t put that shovel away yet. The work’s not over.

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