The Agassiz-Harrison bus sits downtown Agassiz Wednesday

Bus crashes in Agassiz due to winter weather

Winter wreaks havoc on eastern Fraser Valley roads; big thaw coming

  • Jan. 18, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Winter wreaked havoc in the eastern Fraser Valley this week, closing schools and causing treacherous driving conditions.

It started with large amounts of snow that accumulated to well over a metre in areas around Hope. Following the snow was an Arctic outflow that blew through Chilliwack to Agassiz to Hope throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures plummeted to -14 degrees on Wednesday morning, with Environment Canada predicting that Thursday will be even colder, at -16 degrees without the windchill. Winds were blowing at speeds of up to 85 km/hr.

However, the cold snap is predicted to end Friday or Saturday, bringing milder temperatures around 7 degrees. And with that mild weather will come rain, and lots of it.

Now, residents are being urged to help with the necessary clean up that will take place over the next week.

“Right now, our crews are out there working in shifts,” Mick Thiessen, Director of Engineering for the District of Kent said Tuesday. Workers were busy plowing drifting snow off of main roads, and into the centre of roads were possible.

Thiessen said they plow to the centre to lessen the amount of snow that piles up over storm drains. Because once the snow starts to melt, flooding will be the most pressing matter.

Knowing where the storm drains and catch basins are near your property is an important part of keeping your property from flooding, he added.

Thiessen asks that residents keep those areas clear of snow, so that water can flow freely.

There are other things residents can do to help the District keep roads operational.

“Try to park your vehicles in driveways rather than the streets,” he said. “And try to shovel in front of your businesses and homes.”

And when shoveling a driveway, pile the snow to the right side, he said.

That way, when a snowplow comes along it will push that snow away from your driveway, rather than back into it.

It can take a while for snowplows to clean residential streets, but most in Agassiz were plowed by Wednesday afternoon.

The District’s number one priority is to open access for emergency providers, including the RCMP, ambulance and fire departments.

“Then, of course, our next priority is opening school bus routes on school days,” he said. This wasn’t an issue Tuesday and Wednesday, with all public and private schools choosing to close in the Fraser Cascade. Students did go to school on Monday, but many schools chose to close early to allow students to travel home early.

Next on the priority list for road cleaning is the business core and “collector routes” — main thoroughfares that allow people to come and go.

Blowing snow was a major concern for crews throughout the early part of the week, with little snow falling Wednesday.

“We do have our fair share of wind here,” Thiessen said.

The weather caused a number of traffic accidents in Agassiz, including at least one vehicle in a ditch.

On Wednesday morning, one of the area’s two transit buses was in a minor fender bender with a white Dodge pick up.

The incident is under investigation by ICBC, but appears to be a result of poor driving conditions. Transit service was affected in the area, with buses turning around in Agassiz instead of continuing to Harrison Hot Springs.

And in Hope, which received more snow than Agassiz and the same Arctic winds, advanced snow removal was expected to start mid-week.

Residents are asked to be patient while crews may have to close some roads to move heavy equipment. Snow will be moved to vacant spaces around town for disposal.

“This is being done in advance of the expected warm up and subsequent melt,” said Hope’s Fire Chief, Tom DeSorcy. “As well, we will be asking the public to assist wherever possible by helping us to clear storm drains as the snow melts later in the week.”

The weather also caused intermittent garbage pickup, with many companies telling customers they could put out twice as much garbage in the coming weeks.

While the power was out in large numbers throughout Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope had pockets of outages that affected five to 10 houses in each instance. One outage in Hope was due to a mud or snow slide on Wednesday morning, near Carolin Mines.

For up-to-date information on weather and roads, or to share your winter photos, videos and stories, follow us on twitter or visit us on Facebook.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

‘N’ driver clocked going 51 km/hr over the speed limit

Port Moody police say the car was sent to the impound lot

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

5 to start your day

B.C. cracks down on ‘dirty money,’ homicide detectives investigate Maple Ridge death and more

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Needs More Spikes blog finds 136 people are currently peeing in Vancouver Island city

Most Read