Extreme weather creates challenges for village

Keremeos digs out after major early January 2015 snowfall.

Keremeos residents were spent Monday and Tuesday digging out after about a foot of snow fell on the area.

Keremeos residents were spent Monday and Tuesday digging out after about a foot of snow fell on the area.

Review Staff

The holidays were a distant memory Monday morning as residents and business owners started the big digout after mother nature dumped more than a foot of snow on the area.

Mayor Manfred Bauer said he’d shovelled his driveway twice by early afternoon and knew he’d be back out again clearing more snow.

“I barely made it into the office. I almost didn’t make it back home,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious we are experiencing some extreme weather here.”

After several staff members had to be picked up to get to work Monday, Bauer decided to cancel that evening’s council meeting.

“There wasn’t anything pressing scheduled. The snow is creating a challenge everywhere. This is some severe weather,” he said.

Village crews were out in full force throughout the day and night clearing streets as quickly as possible. A contractor was hired to help as more snow and freezing rain was expected Tuesday.

“The public works crew has put in long hours over the last couple of days on snow removal,” Laurie Taylor, CAO for the village wrote in an email to the Review. “The village has hired a contractor to help with the snow removal and as of this morning it looks like we are starting to win the battle. We appreciate the patience of the residents during this unusual snow event.”

RCMP Cpl. Mike Gallagher was pleasantly surprised Tuesday to find there had been no major collisions during the extreme weather system.

“There were a few minor things, some people in the ditch, that kind of thing, but people got out and didn’t really need our assistance,” he said.

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Students in the area were happy to have their winter break extended by a day because of a snow day. The schools were open but buses did not run.

Rob Pelletier was busy Tuesday morning digging the remaining snow off the walkway in front of his gym, the Main Event.

“We got quite a bit of snow,” he said with a smile, while taking a break from shovelling. “You know though by the end of the night last night everything was quiet and seeing all the snow it reminded me of being a kid. I just wanted to build a tunnel in the snow.”

Although he found a silver lining in the snow cloud, Pelletier did worry that all the snow would melt quickly and cause other problems.

“Hopefully that doesn’t happen but I want to get it out of the way just in case,” he said.

This is the second major snowfall the area has experienced this winter. A bizarre storm that brought more than a foot of wet, heavy snow occurred in November.