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City crews work to clean up aftermath of season's first major snowfall

Penticton city worker Ron Johnson prepares to move down the street after clearing a storm drain on Westminster Avenue this morning.
November 26, 2014 - 2:30 PM

PENTICTON - Workers with the City of Penticton and its residents spent Wednesday morning digging out from a sudden dump of heavy, wet snow that began falling Tuesday evening.

By noon, city streets were awash and boots were the footwear of choice as residents dealt with a mixture of snow, slush and water while temperatures began moderating.

“We were aware of the snowfall last night,” Penticton Communications Officer Simone Blais said, adding crews began responding to the precipitation at 3:30 Wednesday morning.

Blais said there was a pause in snow removal while crews chained up and the moisture-laden snowfall made plowing difficult.

By 5 a.m., all city snow removal equipment was on the job, with the city prioritizing collector and transit routes first. Blais reported main roads were clear by 7 a.m. and work was then focused on steep grades within the city.

“The heavy nature of the snow also resulted in tree damage, with many limbs and trees down," Blais said, noting the city’s electrical crews have been working on related problems since 3:30 a.m.

Fortis’ Westminster substation also went down, affecting power to roughly 4,000 residents in the downtown area for about an hour and fifteen minutes starting at 4 a.m.

It was also a busy morning for Penticton emergency crews as the Penticton Fire Department responded to 15 calls as of 9 a.m. Many of the calls involved downed power lines, in addition to two motor vehicle accidents and an alarm call.

Residents can help work crews get the city back to normal by slowing down on the roads, allowing themselves extra travel time. Blais noted the forecast for Penticton is calling for warming temperatures over the next couple of days, which may also impact storm drains.

“Residents can help by checking storm drains to ensure they are free flowing,” she said. “In the meantime, we really appreciate everyone’s patience as city crews continue their work."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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