Snow storm sparks concerns

Victoria is being asked to do more to ensure rural residents aren’t stranded by snow storms

Victoria is being asked to do more to ensure rural residents aren’t stranded by snow storms.

Electoral Area Advisory Committee representatives have opened up communications with JPW Road and Bridge, the local contractor for highways and rural roads, after a two-day storm hit the region in early January.

“We will push the Ministry of Transportation for extra funds so JPW can hire contractors when needed,” said director Mike Macnabb.

Macnabb points out that level of snow varied over a vast region covering the North Okanagan and Shuswap and JPW crews and contractors were used.

“They were over-tasked,” he said.

During the Jan. 4 to 5 storm, some rural residents expressed concern that it took days for their roads to be plowed.

One possibility that has been put before JPW is the possibility of hiring local farmers with blades on their tractors.

“It has happened in the past and did happen to some extent in the snow storm,” said Joe Wrobel, JPW president and general manager. “But there are liability and insurance concerns. We look at everything we have to try to improve what we do.”