Mission gets walloped with first snowfall of 2012

Mission will be hardest hit in Valley by snow, said district's Rick Grant

A garbage truck smashed into the guard rail by the West Coast Express station on North Railway Avenue Monday morning.

A garbage truck smashed into the guard rail by the West Coast Express station on North Railway Avenue Monday morning.

The District of Mission has every piece of equipment they own clearing a huge morning dump of snow, says the assistant operations manager for public works.

“We’re managing to keep up, but barely,” said Rick Grant, answering phone calls from the public in between driving around Mission in his four-wheel drive vehicle equipped with snow tires.

“There’s not a lot of traffic. People are smart enough to stay home,” he said.

Between 15 and 20 centimetres are expected to fall on Mission over the next 24 hours, with the district getting hit the hardest in the Fraser Valley. That information comes from the district’s weather service, said Grant.

“A narrow but intense band of snow continues to impact the area, especially around Mission. However, it won’t take much of a movement north to impact Maple Ridge as well.”

Numerous residents have called the district asking about side street plowing, but Grant said they’re doing all they can with the equipment they have.

Garbage collection was cancelled today, said Grant, which may be a good thing, since a private garbage collection truck slammed into the guardrail of the West Coast Express train station at Welton Street and North Railway Avenue around 11 a.m.

“I’m going out there checking the roads and, you know what, it’s not safe to be driving,” said Grant, adding it’s just not worth the risk for people to try and meet appointments.

Street clearing is prioritized from one to three. Priority ones are major hills like Stave Lake Road, Cedar Street, Grand Street, Wren Street, Hurd Street or Murray Street. Priority twos would be hills like Columbia Street, Dunsmuir Street, James Street and Welton Street, or other streets that aren’t major thoroughfares but see a lot of traffic due to shortcuts. Priority threes are the residential flat streets.

“We don’t hit those until the major hills are as clear as they can be, but if it continues snowing like it is now we’ll have to get back onto the number ones,” said Grant.

Snow is expected to continue falling overnight, tapering off by tomorrow with gusty outflow winds tomorrow afternoon.