Southern Interior highways contractor battling above normal snowfall this winter - InfoNews

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Southern Interior highways contractor battling above normal snowfall this winter

January 22, 2020 - 5:00 PM

The Okanagan’s newest highways maintenance provider is snowplowing through some heavy snows in parts of the Okanagan and Shuswap and at higher elevations this winter.

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance (AIM Roads) says it is removing more than 200 per cent of a normal 10-year snowfall based on Ministry of Transportation date gleaned from its weather stations.

The road maintenance provider issued graphs on their social media website comparing snowfall amounts against last year at Malakwa, Kalamalka and Squallax, all showing comparatively higher snowfall this year compared to last.

The contractor says most of the snow has fallen since Dec. 14.

AIM Roads says it will be spending the next few days opening up roads, plowing slush and removing compact snow. This week’s forecast calls for above seasonal temperatures for the Okanagan and Kamloops regions, but two centimetres of snow could fall in Kamloops overnight, Jan. 22, with up to four cm expected in Vernon and Kelowna.

The BC River Forecast Centre said last week a little over half the annual provincial snow accumulation had occurred by mid-January, with Thompson and Okanagan snowpacks nudging into high snowpack conditions, exceeding 120 per cent of normal.

Maintenance crews will also be able to use de-icing chemicals such as salt brine and salt this week with the warming temperatures.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure media spokesperson Danielle Pope these methods were ineffective during last week’s cold weather, as de-icing chemicals are effective to -9 Celsius while salt works to -6 C.

AIM Roads says it is working to remove snowfall amounts that are 200 per cent above a normal 10 year average in some parts of the Okanagan, based on Minitstry of Transportation data. The graph above shows this year's snowfall at the Malakwa station, compared to last year's and a 10 year average.
AIM Roads says it is working to remove snowfall amounts that are 200 per cent above a normal 10 year average in some parts of the Okanagan, based on Minitstry of Transportation data. The graph above shows this year's snowfall at the Malakwa station, compared to last year's and a 10 year average.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / AIM Roads Facebook page

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