Snow has blanketed the valley, making driveways, roads and highways dangerously slippery.
Continual reports of cars in ditches and snowbanks kept Mounties busy throughout the weekend and as the work-week got underway.
“The Kelowna Regional RCMP responded to just over 40 reports of motor vehicle collisions, of varying degrees of severity, all throughout the Central Okanagan,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“The majority of the collisions reported to police, were motor vehicle incidents which involved property damage only. Several incidents involved damage to property such as, traffic light standards, light poles, utility poles, electrical boxes, fences, traffic signs, trees and of course other motor vehicles.”
None of the crashes were fatal, though a number of people were injured, prompting a police warning.
“RCMP are urging motorists to ensure their vehicles are mechanically sound, properly equipped for winter driving and clear of any excess snow,” he said.
“Drivers are asked to allow themselves extra time to arrive at their destination, to slow down and adjust their speeds to the poor weather and road conditions. We ask that driver’s operate their vehicles cautiously and fully aware of the other vehicles and pedestrians around them, that they anticipate any hazards in the roadway well in advance and clearly indicate their intentions on the roadway.”
Drivers seemingly heeded the Mounties advice on moving slower. One commuter called the Capital News Monday to say they had an extra 45 minutes added to their commute from West Kelowna.
The snowfall was, in short, challenging and city crews were unable to keep residential roads completely clear, prompting more than 200 complaints —that, apparently, is actually average for a snow day.
“We clear snow and de-ice approximately 1639km of lane every snow fall. Roads are cleared based on their priority status as set out by Snow and Ice Control Policy,” read a notice sent out by the city.
“Priority Two to Four roads will not be serviced until service levels of Priority One roads are achieved. If another storm occurs prior to completion of Priority Two – Four roads, attention will again shift to Priority One roads. “
And, while the business of snow removal got underway, all other businesses and institutions continued along
The Central Okanagan school district, for example, kept schools open. In the meantime, schools in Langley, Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Aggisiz, and Hope announced closures today.
Kelowna International Airport also was a hive of activity with planes coming in and out, with only some delays and cancellations noted.
“Mostly (the local delays) are due to de-icing, but all our aircraft that came in this weekend have taken off,” said Sam Samaddar Airport Director.
The only flight that didn’t make its scheduled landing in Kelowna this weekend was a Sunwing plane that had to land in Vancouver due to a medical emergency on-board. It was scheduled to makes its way to Kelowna Monday.
Samaddar said due to snow in Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle some of those flights had been cancelled.