Mounds of snow over drain systems could lead to flooding as temperatures warm up this week.
Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures to rise in the North Okanagan over the next several days, with daytime highs expected to be zero or above, starting Tuesday, Jan. 11.
“As the temperature rises, snow is expected to begin melting and could lead to standing water or localized flooding if catch basins are covered,” the City of Vernon reminds residents.
Utility crews are working throughout the city centre to ensure catch basins are cleared. Residents and businesses are also encouraged to check the catch basins in their own areas to make sure they are clear of snow and ice so water can easily drain.
“If you are shoveling snow off sidewalks or driveways, please remember to pile the snow on your own property when possible, rather than onto the roadway, to reduce the impact of melting snow and blocked catch basins.”
For fire safety, residents are also asked to make sure fire hydrants near their properties are cleared of snow and easily accessible.
If residents begin to see pooling water in their area and are unsure where the catch basins are located, they can contact the city’s utilities department for assistance.
Snow removal efforts continue in Vernon as crews address limited snow storage space in the downtown core, school zones and along major travel corridors.
Last week and over the weekend, crews began removing snow from school zones and the downtown. Over the course of two nights of work, more than 470 truck loads of snow were removed from the downtown core by a crew of 22 equipment operators and contractors. That process costs approximately $15,000-20,000.
Tonight (Monday), crews anticipate being able to complete snow removal on 33rd and 34th Streets (within the downtown). They will then begin work on 27th Street and Highway 97 within the municipal boundary.
“If you come across city crews or contractors as they continue to respond to snow and ice related issues, please remember to slow down and obey all traffic control devices and personnel,” the city said, thanking everyone for their patience and assistance in keeping the community safe and moving throughout the winter season.