Sheer volume of snow overwhelmed West Kelowna crews during January dump - InfoNews

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Sheer volume of snow overwhelmed West Kelowna crews during January dump

West Kelowna struggled with sheer volume of snow during January storm.
January 30, 2015 - 7:34 PM

WEST KELOWNA - With just a couple years experience managing their own snow removal, staff with District of West Kelowna said they did alright during the near-record breaking snowstorm in early January with local reports of snow as deep as 50 centimetres.

“We’re still quite new at this but we heard from other communities that it was the same for them,” communication supervisor Kirsten Jones said.

Like those other Okanagan communities hit by the storm, the sheer volume of snow presented the biggest problem.

“The amount of snow could not be handled in a timely manner,” chief administrative officer Jim Zaffino said. “We are using what happened in the last couple of weeks as a lesson.”

The District's snow removal contractor AEL reported it's crews worked 5,300 lane kilometres during the week of the storm.

West Kelowna's manager of engineering and public works Allen Fillion said under the contract the District is entitled to service for 15 “snow events” and 20 “freezing events” for the 2014/15 season. After negotiations, the contractor agreed to treat the storm clean-up as three snow and three freezing events, leaving more than enough for the eight remaining weeks of winter.

The district received over 600 service requests during the storm and its aftermath.

Mayor Doug Findlater gave cautious praise to the snow removal effort but said he had heard several complaints from local residents mainly about arterial streets remaining unplowed and service vehicles plowing in driveways that had already been cleared by homeowners.

“This seems to annoy everyone,” he said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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