Blast of snow has Kamloops looking ahead to winter

By Jill Sperling
October 13, 2017 - 4:34pm Updated: October 13, 2017 - 6:03pm

KAMLOOPS — Much of Kamloops woke up to a dusting of snow this morning (Oct. 13). 

Higher elevations of the city received a few centimetres of snow, while some Coquihalla Highway sections saw 8-10 centimetres of accumulation.

The highway was closed for a few hours due to treacherous conditions, but not before the winter conditions contributed to a couple of accidents, one occurring just south of the Inks Lake turnoff. 

"What had happened is the vehicle behind me here was following behind another car and actually probably following a little too close on the highway conditions at this time, and actually ran into the back of a Toyota van," said S/Sgt. Doug Aird of the Kamloops Rural RCMP. 

According to Aird both vehicles were equipped with proper winter tires as per provincial regulations. No one was injured. 

In Kamloops, many residents awoke to find a winter wonderland outside their front doors. 

While the snow didn't accumulate on roadways, and melted quickly, city snow clearing crews are ready for action. 

"Mid-October is not ideal," Streets and Environmental Services Manager Glen Farrow said of the snowfall, "it definitely is earlier than what we expected, or are used to. In the upper elevations like Aberdeen, Barnhartvale, Pineview Valley, we've seen it before, and we have our trucks ready with the blades on, the sand's ready, the salt's ready. We're prepared for winter and what it's going to look like this year." 

The city has spent about two thirds of its snow clearing budget of approximately $1.6 million. While there should be enough money left to cover off the last few months of the year, an early, snowy winter could deplete those funds. 

"If hitting those service levels means we're going over budget there are reserves in place for that," Farrow said, "so it's not a case where we're going to use less sand, or put out less trucks if our budget is getting hurt. Public road safety is priority, that does come ahead of budget."

Road safety is also a priority for Kal Tire employees, who have been busy changing over tires as winter approaches. 

"I would definitely say the citizens of Kamloops are very proactive of getting their tires on late September, early October," said James Findrik, store manager of the Kal Tire located on Notre Dame Dr. "We might be a touch busier, but we're definitely managing well."

While it is a strange sight to see snow in Kamloops so early, it's not unusual on the Coquihalla Highway. 

The morning snowfall is certainly a reminder to drivers that winter is on its way. 

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