It took awhile, but the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District joined others around Metro Vancouver Tuesday morning and declared a snow day.
Elementary and secondary schools are all closed this morning, Tuesday, in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, the district says on its website.
“Although the main roads in our school district are clear, we are closing all Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows public schools today, Tuesday, Feb. 12, due to surrounding conditions,” the district said.
Meadowridge School is also closed because of the snow. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our families, but are concerned for the safety of students and staff that travel to our campus from seven different school districts across the region,” the school says.
Environment Canada continues to have a snowfall warning in place for Metro Vancouver, including Maple Ridge, saying that a “long period of snowfall with total amounts of 15 to 25 cm is expected.
A second low pressure centre in as many days gave more snow to the south coast Tuesday.
However, relief is on its way by the middle of the week. By Wednesday, the high at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is forecast to be 2 C, then 4 C on Thursday, with a chance of mixed rain and snow. By Friday, the weather will be back to the usual rain, with highs of 5 C.
TransLink says it’s added additional staff to assist with customers and operations, and have salted and sanded transit exchanges.
It said earlier Tuesday that there are there are no issues with bus routes, “of note.” Many of the articulated buses have been replaced with regular buses as they have better traction in snowy conditions. “This will mean increased crowding in some areas,” TransLink says.
Cold and ice buildup is causing issues with SkyTrain’s track intrusion system however, so TransLink has made adjustments.
To reduce delays and unnecessary braking because of ice and snow, the system’s intrusion alarms have been turned off to speed up service. As a result, SkyTrain attendants are on station platforms to staff all trains.
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“While we won’t be able to run our full complement of trains on the Expo and Millennium lines, we will have more trains running than yesterday morning,” TransLink said. The West Coast Express was expected to run as per usual with the first train leaving Mission City at 5:25 a.m.
The City of Maple Ridge said it would have crews out all night sanding and salting the streets and is asking motorists not pass city vehicles working on the roads and for residents to clear their sidewalks.