Digging out from winter storms

Patience a virtue especially during winter storm season

The winter storm warnings predicted for the British Columbia Interior – north, central and south – were bang on the mark over the past week to 10 days.

There were huge dumps of snow in short bursts throughout that period, including in the South Cariboo.

Depending on where folks reside, the amount of snowfall varied, but suffice it to say it was a real challenge to clear paths in the snow.

Whether it was taking care of our own sidewalks and driveways, the District of 100 Mile House public works or highways contractor Interior Roads, snow removal was an ongoing process – especially this past weekend.

There have been a few grumblings about the shape of the District roads, as well as the secondary roads that Interior Roads looks after.

Interior Roads’ contract states it’s number 1 priority is keeping Highway 97 passable, sanded and cleared for the safety of all of the travellers driving north and south.

As soon as that is completed, they work on the roads with bus routes, then the main secondary roads and down the list.

The highways contractor worked around the clock seven days a week to complete its list and then they were back at it when the next storm went through.

So, overall they did a good job.

The District public works department is limited to its equipment and manpower, and snow removal is a costly, time-consuming process for any community.

Sidewalks were cleared on a regular basis. Snow piles will be removed as quickly as possible and then the next storm will come through.

It’s hard for everyone to keep up with the snow, so the key for area residents is patience.

Happily, there weren’t a lot of motor vehicle incidents (MVIs) on the highways and byways during the storms. There were a few, but nothing too serious, according to the 100 Mile House RCMP.

There was a lot of blowing snow and fog on Highway 97, so visibility was an issues for drivers. This resulted in lines of vehicles rolling down the road at a reasonable and safe speed.

The freezing rain that hit the area on Jan. 6-7 caused a few vehicles to slide off the highway and a few 18-wheelers were seen on the shoulders chaining up so they could make it up some of our hills.

However, this is the Cariboo, and as sure as winter comes every year, we experience winter storms with extended periods of large dumps of snow.

We shouldn’t drive unless we absolutely need to, and when we do drive, we need to drive to road conditions and make sure we have proper tires.

The fact there weren’t many MVIs is proof motorists are getting the message to slow down, have good winter tires and give themselves a lot of braking distance.