Despite having the day off from school, grade 10 student Callum Nixon is working hard.

He’s making some money by clearing a neighbours sidewalk and driveway.

“I enjoy it,” said Nixon. “I don’t currently have a job so it’s nice to make some extra cash.”

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, like several others in the region, had its first snow day in two years.

“[That’s] very unusual. I’m told that we don’t get snow like this. It’s been maybe 10 years since we’ve had a snowfall like this,” said Dale Burgos, of School District 68.

The call to close the schools was made over Sunday night, as the region was quietly blanketed in 20 to 40 centimetres of snow.

“In the early morning we knew the roads were still going to be bad,” said Burgos.

“The parking lots at the schools were still going to need some attention too so it was going to be a little tricky to get to schools today,” said Burgos.

Staff and contractors worked through the much of today clearing school sidewalks and parking lots.

And it was a similar situation on the roads. Crews started a 12-hour shift Sunday afternoon. One that goes around the clock to keep the roads as clear as possible.

Garbage/recycling crews were shuffled into snow ploughing today to put the city’s full snow removal vehicles to work, clearing the major roads first.

“Once the secondary roads are done and open then we’ll look at moving into the residential areas,” said David Myles, Nanaimo’s Roads and Traffic Services Manager.

“[I’m] not sure we’ll get there yet today because we have another event that’s forecast to start.”

The flakes took a break and allowed crews to catch up and dig out, but will be brief. The next forecasted snowfall is close on this storm’s heels.

Kendall Hanson