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City catching up with big snow

Massive piles of snow remain in Penticton's downtown core as crews worked overnight Tuesday to clear downtown parking slots.
January 07, 2015 - 4:43 PM

PENTICTON - Communications Officer Simone Blais said it’s too soon to say how much this week’s heavy snowfall will cost Penticton residents.

“Operations staff will have to submit time sheets, all the vehicles, equipment and supplies used will have to be identified and these reports will take weeks to come through,” she said.

Blais said the city has an annual budget for snow clearing, enough to allow for 10 average snowfall events per year.

“This was not an average snowfall by any measure, though,” she said. “We are in a good position in that this is the first weather event in a new year with a new budget, and we don’t know what the rest of the year can be like. Any implications will likely not be felt until closer to the end of the fiscal year.”

Crews were working on transit spots and parking areas in the downtown core last night, and were continuing work on transit spots today. Work also continued on widening roadways and clearing storm drains.

Blais said the city had worked hard Tuesday night to clear parking areas in the downtown core, noting that hauling snow isn’t generally practised.

“It’s a very intensive process that we can only conduct at night, because roads have to be closed. There can’t be cars parked in the street, so we have to be finished by 9 a.m.”

The city’s good neighbour bylaw is also in effect, Blais said. Residents who have bus stops without shelters on their boulevards are expected to keep them free of snow,
“This has been a significant snow -  our bylaw services are out on the streets to educate and inform. They are trying to get public cooperation,” she said.

Blais said many long-time residents are saying they haven’t seen that much snow since the 1930s - although some also remember 1996 as another big year.

Blais said the City of Penticton’s snow removal policies were in line with what other municipalities were doing.

Curbside garbage collection that was interrupted on Monday has been rescheduled for pickup next Monday. Those residents whose garbage wasn’t collected will not be restricted to the two bag limit. For more information about curbside collection, call 250-490-3888.

Temperatures are expected to remain consistent with a slow melt of snow over the next few days, which should prove beneficial for run-off into storm sewers. Residents are encouraged by the city to check their neighbourhood catch basins to ensure they are clear.

Credit: Emily Wigley
Emily Wigley published this time lapse film on YouTube of the Sunday, Jan. 4 snowfall in Penticton. Approximately 10 centimetres fell on Sunday.

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


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