Temperatures in the East Kootenays have risen from sub -20C to around -4C to -8C in the last 72 hours which has allowed de-icing operations to happen with liquid and solid chlorides being applied to main highways and school bus/commercial routes with the exception of a few high elevation roads which are still colder than the -9C threshold and have had grader ice blading and sand applied.
The process of melting creates unavoidable slushy conditions for a period of time while the chlorides work, which is plowed off once the melt has completed. The road will remain wet for a period of time after removal and the potential exists for spot icing to develop rapidly until the road dries, even on salted or sanded roads.
Motorists should be prepared for slushy and slippery sections during this time and keep the speed down even if the road appears bare. Temperatures often dip a few degrees just at daybreak or in the late afternoon, and unexpected slippery sections can appear in a matter of minutes. Speeding or tailgating in these conditions can easily lead to an accident so don’t get fooled. Blowing snow and slush spray, particularly from larger vehicles, can be a hazard during these periods as well. Chloride application often draws wildlife to highways so keep a sharp eye out for them.
Holiday travelers should leave plenty of time to get to their destination and make sure lights work, plenty of washer fluid is available and appropriate tires are used.
Late in the week temperatures are expected to drop to around -10C to -15C with occasional light snowfall lasting until Christmas morning.
Throughout the holiday season, Mainroad crews will be out patrolling, plowing and sanding as required.
Before heading out, ALWAYS check www.drivebc.ca for the latest road and weather updates. Motorists travelling across the Province should pay particular attention to notifications regarding avalanche closures.
Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting 24 hour hotline: 1-800-665-4929.
Please report road hazards and unsafe conditions.
This hotline is used to update DriveBC, dispatch additional personnel and record public communication as required.