All public schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were closed on Wednesday along with Meadowridge School and St. Patricks School. (THE NEWS-files)

SD42 says too early to know cost of snow cleanup

Crews out today plowing school parking lots and one path to each school

It is too early yet to learn how much money it is going to cost the local school district to clean up the snow after the latest snowstorm Tuesday night and another expected tonight.

Irena Pochop, with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district, said maintenance crews and contractors were clearing snow at facilities where parking lots had to be plowed and one access path shovelled to each school.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows schools closed for snow day

As for how much all of this is going to cost, Pochop says, they won’t be able to put a figure to it until next week, at the earliest.

“The school district does have a budget for snow removal and a budget for contingencies, but it is impossible to assess or accurately predict at this time what the snow removal costs will end up being,” said Pochop.

“Additional snow is expected later today and in the evening, so there is more work ahead of us in this regard as well,” she noted.

Pochop said she is not aware of any other problems due to the cold weather, such as frozen pipes, at any of the facilities.

Students in the district were given a snow day Wednesday after it was announced, before 6 a.m., that all public schools would be closed.

Meadowridge School was also closed, as was St. Patricks School.

RELATED: Emergency shelter lets people come in out of the cold

As many as 4,000 students were absent Monday as public schools remained open after a snow storm Sunday evening, while a school bus crashed on the Golden Ears Bridge due to icy conditions.

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board meeting on Wednesday has been rescheduled for Jan. 22 “due to inclement weather.”

The ACT Arts Centre also cancelled all of its programming for the day.

Environment Canada has issued another snow warning for tonight. An area of low pressure is currently offshore and is expected to approach the B.C. Coast late this afternoon, said the alert.

Strong southeasterly winds are expected along with another 10 cm of snow overnight.

Pochop said parents and students should continue to consult the district’s website and social media feeds about school closures for tomorrow. She said they will try to make the call about school closures as early as possible to give families time to make other plans.

Pochop said they will post by 6:15 a.m. at the latest.

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