British Columbia

Drivers advised to be cautious as flurries expected in Lower Mainland

Snowplowing to be stepped up as five to 10 centimetres could accumulate on highways, Mainroad says.

Service contractor says they are preparing for 5 to 10 centimetres of snow over next 24 hours

A snowplow in action on Highway 1. Mainroad says that with expected snowfall they will be stepping up maintenance efforts in the Lower Mainland. (Jesse Johnson/CBC)

Snowplowing, salting and other precautions will be stepped up on local highways Tuesday night with flurries anticipated for the Lower Mainland.

Mainroad, a contractor that provides maintenance for Lower Mainland highways, says they are preparing for five to 10 centimetres of snow over the next 24 hours.

Mainroad general manager Darren Ell said crews from three works yards are out Tuesday night brining and salting roads to create a layer of anti-ice chemicals. He says shifts are coming in early and staying late to maintain routes.

"We do hit all the roads," said  Ell. "We plow them as fast as we can. It's just working with the traffic and the people in the areas."

Ell says drivers should "drive to the conditions" and at lower speeds during flurries.

He also says to be careful if passing a snowplow: their wing plows extend beyond the width of the vehicles themselves and snow comes off on their right-hand side, so do not pass them on the right.

He also said after last year's record-breaking winter, Mainroad has "made some tweaks" in its approach to snow clearing by bringing in bigger trucks and deploying trucks in different locations.

"We're just trying to do it a little more efficiently and a little more productively," he said.

Environment Canada is calling for below-freezing temperatures in the Lower Mainland Tuesday night, getting to as low as –9 C in Whistler. Vancouver is predicted to see the mercury drop to –1 C.

The weather service says Vancouver has a 60 per cent chance of seeing flurries tonight, a 40 per cent chance in the Fraser Valley and a 30 per cent chance in Whistler.