Snow causes headaches for city motorists

That skiff of snow we had in the overnight hours was just enough to cause mayhem on city streets during the morning commute.

Slippery conditions on the Cameron Street Bridge led to a truck jackknifing as it made the turn to approach the bridge. Prince George RCMP were on the scene and closed the road until a towing crew was able to straighten out the truck.

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Drivers are reminded to slow down and if they haven’t already, get snow tires on their vehicles.

“We live in the north, it’s slippery on the ground and you drive to the conditions, it’s common sense,” said RCMP spokesperson Cst. Craig Douglass. “I think everybody that lives here knows to drive to the conditions but people don’t, they choose not to. They don’t get the tires on in time, they don’t take whatever action they should take, and they’re responsible for that.”

Sanding trucks from the City of Prince George and Yellowhead Road and Bridge were out tackling the problem caused by the overnight flurries, which made driving hazardous, especially on the hills.

“We’ve currently got four sander/plough trucks out and two sidewalk machines,” said Blake McIntosh, city roads and fleet manager. “It’s definitely a bit earlier start to the season than normal, usually we may get one snow(fall) in October and heading into November, as we staff up for  full winter operations, there’s a little more expected.”

“We’re pushing to get the more summer operation projects complete  prior to winter startup. We do have the majority of our trucks outfitted for these kinds of conditions.”

The cold has lingered since last weekend, when close to 10 centimetres of snow fell on the city. That makes this October even more unusual.

“The last couple of days, the colder temperatures overnight definitely don’t help,” said McIntosh. “Cooling off the pavement temperatures, that’s when we see the slippery conditions forming. Really, with a skiff, all we can do is tackle it with traction and de-icing materials.

“As per our snow and ice policy we focus on the priority 1 and 2 routes with larger volumes of traffic, hills, bus, routes, the hospital, that kind of thing.”

The cold is expected to continue. Environment Canada is forecasting low temperatures at least 10 degrees below normal for the next two days but with mostly sunny skies. The high Saturday will only reach -6 C, after an overnight low of -14 C and Saturday’s low will hit -16 C. More snow flurries are forecast for Sunday night.


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