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Posted: March 23, 2020

Mainroad issues weather event alert for region

A weather event is anticipated to impact the East Kootenay over the next 24 hours, advised Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting Ltd. in a stakeholder’s advisory this afternoon (March 23).

“We are expecting mixed precipitation, including snow, starting first thing Tuesday morning across Service Area 11.  The weather event is forecast to continue until Tuesday evening,” Mainroad said, adding its meteorological service is predicting mixed precipitation to fall as rain and snow, and at varying intensities across the area.

“In western areas such as Yahk, Cranbrook, Kimberley, and Invermere we are expecting a chance of light snow on Tuesday morning, turning to rain. The precipitation should end by roughly noon Tuesday in these areas. Elk Valley areas such as Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and Crowsnest Pass are forecast to receive increased precipitation, falling mostly as snow.  There is also a higher probability of precipitation in these areas.”

Motorists should be aware that rain can freeze on road surfaces and cause ice hazards, if the surface temperature is sufficiently low.

Mainroad crews have spent the last few days proactively applying anti-ice chemicals to major roadways.  This pre-treatment will assist with snow removal during the weather event by preventing ice from bonding to the surface.  It will also help us to achieve clear road conditions much faster, once the event ends.  If temperatures drop substantially as expected, the effectiveness of anti-icing chemicals will be limited, and drivers will notice more use of winter abrasive (sand) as a traction agent instead.

“Mainroad crews will continue to address road hazards as they arise during and after the event.  Drivers should continue to watch for ice hazards in the days following the event, and please drive patiently around maintenance equipment to allow them to work effectively.”

Lead image: e-KNOW file photo of Mainroad plows operating near Cranbrook earlier this winter.


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