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Snowfall in valley prompts street parking ban on snow routes

The City of Kelowna has implemented a street parking ban on snow routes until further notice. Global News

Snow removal crews had an early start Monday morning — with the first significant snowfall of the season.

“We had the guys out very early this morning,” said City of Kelowna public works manager Gaert Bos. “The first crews went out around 3 a.m.”

While snow was in the forecast, the amount that fell took many, including city crews, by surprise.

Read more: B.C.’s South Coast, Vancouver Island wake up to snow following a few days of dry weather

According to Global Okanagan meteorologist Peter Quinlan, eight centimetres of snow fell in Kelowna over the last 24 hours while a whopping 28 centimetres fell in Penticton.

“The forecast played a little bit of a trick on us and I think like everybody in the valley here, we were kind of like planning for an inch or two,” Bos said.

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In Kelowna, Bos said snow is being cleared with the use of 26 plows.

“We have about 16 tandem units out there and another six smaller units. We have six contractors out there…the graders are running on the major arterials as well, so there’s there’s a lot of equipment out there right now,” Bos said.

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The snowfall prompted the City of Kelowna to implement a parking ban on snow routes until further notice.

It affects residents living on designated snow routes in Academy Way, Black Mountain, Clifton/Magic Estates/Wilden, Dilworth Mountain, Kirschner Mountain, McKinley Beach and areas in the South Mission (includes The Ponds).

“They’re (snow routes) typically in the more hillside areas, but it’s pretty challenging to move the snow removal equipment around right so that’s why we have them identify the snow routes and it’s really those areas where the parking ban is in effect,” Bos said.

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Read more: More snow at Big White Ski Resort means more runs opening soon

In a news release issued Monday morning, the city stated residents parked on the street have 24 hours to find alternative off-street parking. Vehicles that remain on the street on the designated snow routes may be towed or issued a $50 fine.

The snow route parking bans will be in effect until the city declares they have been lifted

Residents not living on a snow route are still encouraged to move their vehicles off the road to help plows clear the snow from curb to curb safely and quickly.

“It is always very helpful for all of us if we can remove the vehicles from any route where we anticipate snow clearing, I mean, the fewer vehicles that are around the more safely and efficiently we can we can move the snow off the streets,” said Bos.

Municipal streets are cleared and de-iced based on their priority classification. Priority one includes high-traffic roads such as Gordon Drive. Priority two includes collector roads such as Richter Street, bus routes, school zones, town centers and emergency vehicle stations. Priority three includes local roads in neighbourhoods and priority four includes remaining lanes.

Highway 97 (Harvey Avenue) and Highway 33 are maintained by the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Click here for more information or to find out when the street parking ban is lifted.

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