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West Kelowna says snow removal crews working around the clock ahead of storm

Main roads will be cleared first while some local streets could go 48 hours without maintenance
Snow removal crews will be working around the clock, but it could be up to 48 hours before some roads are cleared. (Jacqueline Gelineau/ Kelowna Capital News)

The City of West Kelowna says snow removal crews will be working at full capacity ahead of Wednesday’s winter storm.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement as a winter storm is anticipated to drop 10 to 20 cm of snow on the Central Okanagan Wednesday (Jan. 5) evening through to Thursday.

READ MORE: Heavy snow to blanket Okanagan starting Wednesday

Crews will work to maintain priority 1 and 2 roads first to ensure they are safe for emergency services vehicles and essential goods. The city says they’re taking advantage of a break in the weather Wednesday afternoon to prepare and clear roads prior to Wednesday’s storm. However, they warn that some priority 3 roads may not be maintained for up to 48 hours.

Maintenance of Highway 97 is handled by provincial contractor AIM Roads, which recently came under fire for “failing to meet” provincial expectations for snow removal in West Kelowna.

READ MORE: Okanagan residents frustrated with AIM Roads over lack of snow removal

Priority 1 roads are arterial roads like Boucherie, Glenrosa, Shannon Lake and Westlake. Priority 2 includes collector roads, school bus and other transit routes and steep neighbourhood accesses such as Auburn, Elliott, Gellatly, Ross and Thacker. Priority 3 includes local roads and cul-de-sacs.

Residents are asked to park off the street if possible to make plowing easier. The city also advises residents not to shovel snow into the street, keep snow cleared from hydrants and storm drains around your property and remove snow and ice from sidewalks and walkways bordering your property.

“If, for some reason, crews have not been to your street after more than 48 hours since the last snowfall, please contact us,” the city said.

Residents can call 778-797-2225 during office hours 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. Afterhours please call AEL at 1-866-353-3136.

READ MORE: Snow blows budget: Kelowna spent nearly $1M on winter maintenance for December


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