Richmond snow response plan ready for winter weather
07 December 2018
A special weather statement has been issued indicating the possibility for snow this weekend – with that, the City of Richmond is prepared to respond to snow, ice and freezing temperatures with its comprehensive snow response plan.
The City’s Roads and Construction Services department will be ensuring all major arterial roads are cleared and pre-treated so emergency vehicles including police, ambulance and fire trucks, public transit and private vehicles can travel through Richmond’s primary routes. The snow response plan includes the use of 41 specialized snow response vehicles and equipment. The City is also stocked with 700 tonnes of salt on-site, with an additional 2,200 tonnes on reserve and 1,050 tonnes available under contract.
A centralized control centre of experienced staff manage around-the-clock response to snow or severe weather – this includes following updates to weather reports, monitoring six road temperature sensors for road surface conditions around the city and dispatching equipment and crews as proactively and as needed.
During a snow event, pre-established first and second priority routes are cleared. Salting and plowing activities on third priority routes occur only when first and second priority routes are addressed, and when they can be scheduled during regular working hours (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Third priority routes consist of designated collector roads and roads of local significance. To view existing snow removal priority routes, visit bit.ly/PriorityRoutes.
In the event of a significant multi-day snowfall event, City public works staff switch to 24/7 coverage where crews work 12 hour shifts, laying down anti-icing liquid brine and/or salt on the roads to prevent frost and ice from forming. This strategy is kept in place until priority roads are clear and conditions change.
City snow plows will contribute their efforts to keeping street storm/drainage grates clear of snow and ice accumulation. Residents and businesses are asked to do the same when they clear their sidewalks to prevent blocking them, which causes pooling as temperatures warm.
For more information on the City’s snow response, visit www.richmond.ca/winter. Updates during snow and ice events will be posted on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Richmond_BC and Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofrichmondbc. Emergency alerts will be posted to www.twitter.com/RichmondBCAlert. Please follow Environment Canada and other reliable sources for updates on weather.
Do your part – residential responsibilities during snowfall
Bylaw 5870 requires residential (single-family and multi-family) owners, commercial and industrial and occupants to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their properties no later than 10 a.m. every day.
Residents are encouraged to shovel snow onto lawns or into designated parking stalls, not the street. Shovelling snow onto the street is a hazard for vehicles and creates more work for snow plows, slowing down the clearing process.
The City also encourages all Richmond residents to be a Good Neighbour this winter and be on the lookout for neighbours in need of snow removal assistance. There is no registry or dispatch number to call; it’s simply something to keep in mind if snow starts to fall.
Volunteers needed for Snow Angels program
The Snow Angels program is a volunteer-based service in place to assist Richmond residents of single-family homes who, because of a physical disability or mobility challenges, are unable to shovel snow from their sidewalk or walkways. Volunteer Snow Angels are needed, especially during weekday business hours.
If you would like to become a Snow Angel, visit http://icanhelp.richmond.ca or contact the Community Services Division at 604-244-1208 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may select the neighbourhood you wish to serve or you can choose to provide assistance city-wide. Snow Angels are to provide their own transportation, equipment and protective gear including shovels, proper footwear, gloves, jackets, etc.
If you are a resident in need of a Snow Angel’s help this winter, requests for assistance should be made in advance of a winter storm by contacting the Snow Angel Coordinator at your closest community centre or by calling the Community Services Division at 604-244-1208. A full contact list of Snow Angel Coordinators can be found at www.richmond.ca/winter.
This program is dependent on volunteer availability, severity of the storm and the priority needs of callers. An accumulation of five or more centimetres of snow is needed to activate the program. Although assistance is not guaranteed, participating volunteers will make every effort to help all qualified callers.