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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John city work crews are stepping into overdrive to get roads and storm drains cleared ahead of a big change in the weather.

After the record snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday, city workers are hitting the streets in big numbers to reduce the chance of icy roads and flooding. The city’s Communications Coordinator Julie Rogers said that management has joined the efforts to clear storm drains in flood-prone areas ahead of a warming trend expected to hit Fort St. John beginning later today.

Environment Canada is forecasting sunny skies and a high of 17 degrees on Friday, with the sun expected to stick around until after Halloween. Rogers said that city staff is concerned about the risk of flooding, especially in the Matthews Park neighbourhood, which is why crews with shovels are out clearing storm drains.

In addition to the shovel crews, the city also has a full force of skidsteer drivers, snowplow drivers, and graders out clearing roads. Rogers said that crews have completed clearing P-1A and P-1B priority streets, and have begun clearing residential side streets. The snowplow operators are also going to be out salting roads during the early morning and evening hours to help keep roads from turning into skating rinks.

The City of Fort St. John’s snow removal priority map.

Rogers said that the only major issue that has arisen is the closure of the city’s public snow dump. She explained that the snow dump is currently closed because the ground is too soft, despite the city adding equipment to help with drainage. Rogers explained that contractors clearing parking lots around the city will unfortunately need to make alternate arrangements for the cleared snow.

Rogers said that the city is also advising residents to make sure they have their sidewalks cleared of snow as soon as possible for two reasons. First, she explained that residents that don’t have their sidewalks cleared 48 hours after a snowfall risk being ticketed, and also that any snow that doesn’t melt in the next two weeks will likely stay put for the rest of the winter. The Weather Network’s 14-day trend is calling for daytime highs of negative single digits in two weeks.

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