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Strikes and snowfall interfere with events in Prince George, RCMP urge you to avoid driving

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City crews clear roads in downtown Prince George Friday morning after a record snowfall.



Snowfall warning ended

A combination of heavy snow and a looming strike have put a hold on a number of events around the city of Prince George.

On Thursday, record-breaking levels of snow fell, causing havoc on city streets. RCMP urged people to avoid driving as tow trucks, school buses and police cruises succumbed to deep snow and windrows. A number of community events such as dance recitals and after-school pickup programs were cancelled as a result.

The snowfall warning has now ended and city crews have been working overnight to clear city streets. 

RCMP say roads should still be avoided

However, Pat McTiernan with the RCMP's North District Traffic Services says people should still avoid driving as warming weather is creating icy conditions.

"We're recommending take that extra day, hunker down, and let the roads get to the point where we can travel about safely again. That's just sheerly a matter of the weather we've been receiving and the ability of the crews."

McTiernan says RCMP received such a high call volume that they were only able to respond to incidents where there were injuries or traffic flow was impacted.

Listen to the full interview with Pat McTiernan about hazardous roads in Prince George
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Environment Canada is forecasting snow with a possibility of rain over the weekend as temperatures warm to 2 degrees.

Buses and garbage collection operating

Meanwhile, BC Transit issued an alert yesterday advising that buses would only be travelling on main roads until secondary roads are cleared.

After nine school buses became stuck yesterday, four more became stuck this morning with others delayed and routes cut short due to road conditions. All students have made it to their schools.

The city says garbage collection will continue as normal, though delays are expected.

Arenas and pool shut down due to job action

However, looming job action from city unions are putting further events on hold.

CUPE unions representing inside and outside workers in Prince George have served notice that they will be striking on Saturday morning. Snow clearing will continue, but workers will be picketing outside some civic facilities.

This notice has prompted the city to shut down the CN Centre, the Kin Centres, the Prince George Coliseum and the Elkscentre.

The Prince George Aquatic Centre will be closed all day Saturday. The Four Seasons Leisure Pool is undergoing maintenance and is already closed until January.

The WHL Prince George Cougars will not be affected, as they are on the road this weekend, but the midget Cariboo Cougars have opted to move their home games to Fort St James, a two-hour drive away. The BCHL's Prince George Spruce Kings are postponing their scheduled home games for a future date.

Meanwhile, the Prince George Ice Oval has postponed a celebration opening event scheduled for Saturday. In a release, the organization say the decision is due to a combination of job action, heavy snowfall, and warming weather.

Unions back to work Sunday and Monday 

Union spokesperson Gary Campbell says even though a complete walkout is planned for Saturday, it will be "business as usual" on Sunday. Unionized workers will not be taking overtime hours or working outside of their contracts.

"People can still expect city services to be as normal."

Unions must give 72 hour notice if they plan to do any future picketing.

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