Tuesday’s touch of winter snow kept accumulations within the magical number of 10 centimetres of the white stuff.
Any snowfall up to that amount is easily handled by City of Maple Ridge works crews who got on to the roads all night Tuesday and on Wednesday.
Snow started at about noon on Tuesday and brought about 10 centimetres to areas east of 240th Street in Maple Ridge, said Walter Oleschak, roads superintentent.
If that’s all that falls, road crews can easily clear the primary roads then turn their attention to sidestreets.
But if more than 10 cm fall, all efforts are focused on keeping the main routes open and secondary roads are left until later.
“We were staying on top of that,” Oleschak said. “The big issue was the rain before the show washing all the brine off the roads.”
If snow’s expected, crews usually try to spread brine on to the roads so it soaks in and stalls icing on the roads.
But the heavy rain in the morning prevented that, which was followed by snow in the afternoon and evening.
Oleschak said the central part of Maple Ridge received only about five cm overnight.
Although the rain washed away the brine, road crews in a total of 11 trucks, spread salt and sand on to Maple Ridge roads on Tuesday evening. Temperatures warmed up on Wednesday but were expected to go back to freezing by this evening, Oleschak said.
Temperatures though cooled on Tuesday, dropping from 4 C at 11 a.m. at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport, down to 1 C by 11 p.m. that night. Today, Wednesday, it cooled even further down to -3 C at 9 a.m., before rebounding to -1 C.
Following last winter’s heavy snow, Maple Ridge soon will double the amount of salt it will be able to store at its public works yard.
Currently, the city has 3,000 tonnes of salt on hand, about 800 more tonnes than previously kept.
A new storage shed will allow another 3,000 tonnes of salt to be kept in reserve.
“The one that worries me the most … I think that on Christmas Day, we might have snow,” Oleschak said.
About five cm are expected, which is great for people who want a white Christmas, though it means crews will be in the trucks on the big day.
The city’s performance drew mainly praise on its Facebook page. “Thanks for your work during this weather,” said Deb Cameron.