City continuing snow clearing efforts

Schools remain closed, but transit service is back up and running.

The City of Cranbrook is continuing to dig out after record snowfall this past weekend.

The City of Cranbrook is continuing to dig out after record snowfall this past weekend.

Cranbrook and surrounding East Kootenay communities are continuing to dig out from record-breaking snowfalls over the last few days.

The City of Cranbrook had all available Public Works staff and equipment on the roads on Monday and are continuing to get main arterials, emergency and transit routes cleared.

Tuesday’s clearing efforts are now focusing on secondary streets and residential areas.

“WIth the snow removal happening in residential areas, there will be some big windrows while cleanup is being done including the downtown core,” stated a city press release. “Drivers and pedestrians are asked to to please be very cautious when driving by windrows as visibility is significantly reduced.”

The city cancelled garbage collection on Monday and Tuesday but will resume the regular collection schedule next week.

“The patience and understanding of our community has been tremendous the past couple of days as we work through the snow cleanup,” continued the release.

Schools across the Southeast Kootenay district were closed on Monday and Tuesday, but reopened on Wednesday. Also, the College of the Rockies closed Monday, but reopened on Tuesday to resume regular classes.

After shutting down on Monday, BC Transit services are now back up and running, as well.

Interior Health reported that all sites remained open across the East Kootenay, but warned that specific services and appointments may have needed to be rescheduled.

Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting, which is responsible for cleaning highways and secondary roads in the East Kootenay outside of municipalities, says the snowfall has created challenges, but that crews are working tirelessly to keep roads clear.

The company says that winter operations are completed on a priority basis, starting with numbered routes, commercial and school routes, then secondary routes. Work has begun on many secondary roads, but it will take time to get to every single one, even with the additional resources the company brought in to tackle the storm.

As of press time on Tuesday, all highways in the region are open following a brief closure between Elko and Fernie due to high avalanche hazard.