Saanich prepares for winter conditions

The District of Saanich is preparing for the upcoming winter season and is encouraging residents to be aware of weather-related issues that could arise.

Saanich crews clear roads on a prioritized schedule and aim to clear priority routes within 24 hours of a snowfall. Saanich crews clear snow from municipal facility entrances and parking lots as well as sidewalks on municipal properties. Property owners are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks in front of their properties and are encouraged to help neighbours with limited mobility remove snow.

When cold weather is in the forecast, Saanich controls ice by pre-treating roadways with an anti-icing brine. The brine applied to roads can be effective for up to three days in ideal weather conditions.

Saanich recreation centres and other municipal facilities and parks may close in the event of snow or other inclement weather. If schools in School District 61 are closed, then all registered programs and lessons taking place before 3 p.m. at Saanich recreation centres will be cancelled, but centres may remain open. If BC Transit buses are not running, Saanich recreation centres will be closed.

Closure notifications will be posted on the Saanich.ca website.

Saanich crews are taking steps to prevent flooding by inspecting critical drainage infrastructure. In the event of a flood on streets and sidewalks, residents are advised to call 250-475-5597 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 250-475-6190 after hours.

Sandbags are available at the public works yard at 1040 McKenzie Ave. if residents need to divert overland rainwater flow during a flood. Residents are also encouraged to avoid fast-moving water in a storm situation.

Tips to prevent flooding in your home: move leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage; seal cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows and foundations and all window wells; and ensure that your plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition.

Look for downed power lines and keep a safe distance. Trees or branches on hydro lines should to be reported to BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376. For municipal parks, boulevards or other public lands and tree issues, contact Saanich Parks at 250-475-5522 or parksadmin@saanich.ca. After-hours calls should be directed to 250-475-6190.

Most power outages last only minutes, but in severe weather events, the power can be off for longer periods of time. Think ahead by ensuring you have a flashlight, blankets and a fully-charged cellphone on hand in the event of a power outage. Never use a camp stove, barbecue or propane or kerosene heater indoors. Visit Saanich’s website for tips on what to include in your emergency kit.

For more information on preparing your home and business, to report an outage and for outage maps and restoration times, contact BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376 or visit the BC Hydro website.

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