Vancouverites don skates to brave icy roads
Rough weather also caused ferry cancellations and power outages across the Lower Mainland
A bout of bad weather that ushered in 2017 has left thousands of Lower Mainland residents battling icy roads and power outages on New Year's Day.
In East Vancouver, one street was so icy that resident Sam MacTavish filmed himself skating down the middle of it.
"I didn't want to do the video for the fun of skating, I wanted to prove a point that it's really dangerous," MacTavish said of Elgin Street.
"My grandparents, who live with us, they can't really go outside. It's too dangerous to cross the street — it's all ice."
The streets of <a href="https://twitter.com/CityofVancouver">@CityofVancouver</a> <a href="https://t.co/BxQaqhskkR">pic.twitter.com/BxQaqhskkR</a>—@colleenw_26
MacTavish, 18, said his uncle who lives at UBC recently slipped on the ice and broke his shoulder, and now requires surgery.
"It's the city's responsibility ... they haven't really acted," he said.
"Obviously they can't respond to every little road, but when the roads are becoming like that, it's clear that they've kind of got to do a better job of managing the roads."
He wasn't the only person upset about the icy roads in the region. Others also compared them to skating rinks.
Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/CityofVancouver">@CityofVancouver</a> the streets are skating rinks and really tough on the elderly. Hope you can get salt trucks out soon. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/safetyfirst?src=hash">#safetyfirst</a> <a href="https://t.co/knJeVdinHC">pic.twitter.com/knJeVdinHC</a>—@Magsedoyle
A City of Vancouver spokesman said anyone concerned about icy roads can report them by phoning 311 or using the city's app, VanConnect, so it can send crews to address the problem.
In fairness, our whole block is a skating rink <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ice?src=hash">#ice</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CityofVancouver">@CityofVancouver</a> <a href="https://t.co/PWu1VRRxZe">pic.twitter.com/PWu1VRRxZe</a>—@robertshaer
Meanwhile, some Lower Mainland residents staying home for the day had other problems to contend with.
BC Hydro said about 3,500 customers were still without power as of 5 p.m. PT Sunday — down from about 15,000 during the peak of the snowstorm that hit the South Coast on New Year's Eve.
Spokeswoman Mora Scott said crews had been working throughout the night and day to restore power, which was mostly knocked out by snow-laden trees falling on power wires.
Tree down on Cartier and 56th. Please send crew to clear. Thank you! <a href="https://twitter.com/CityofVancouver">@CityofVancouver</a> <a href="https://t.co/QDSBoQuY0p">pic.twitter.com/QDSBoQuY0p</a>—@GressyBess
She said the hardest-hit areas were Vancouver, Burnaby, Maple Ridge and Mission, but crews should have power back in those areas by the end of the day.
One municipality that's not likely to have power back tonight is Bowen Island, where 991 households in the small community were without power Sunday.
High winds cancelled ferries headed to Snug Cove from Horseshoe Bay, meaning hydro crews couldn't get to the island to make the repairs necessary to get the power back on.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCFHeadsUp?src=hash">#BCFHeadsUp</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BowenIsland?src=hash">#BowenIsland</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HorseshoeBay?src=hash">#HorseshoeBay</a> 3:10, 4:15, 5:15pm /<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HorseshoeBay?src=hash">#HorseshoeBay</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BowenIsland?src=hash">#BowenIsland</a> 3:45, 4:45, 5:50pm cancelled due to weather ^jj—@BCFerries
Cate Simpson was one of dozens of people hunkered down at Doc Morgan's pub near the Bowen Island ferry Sunday afternoon, waiting to find out if she would be able to make it back to her home in Vancouver that night.
"I think the entire island and certainly the entire ferry lineup is in here," Simpson said over the phone.
"They're cooking up a storm and serving lots of drinks in the pub. It's one bartender and one server and I don't think they know what hit them. But everybody's being very patient."
Simpson said RCMP had gone up and down the main road with megaphones to tell people the ferries were cancelled and to go home, but BC Ferries hadn't officially cancelled the remaining sailings of the day at that point.
"It's really hard to know whether to go back to a cold house that doesn't have any power and light a fire or to kind of stick it out down here in the cove and see if we can get out of here tonight," she said.