Nanaimo sees snow and cold lead to burst pipes and mail delivery delays

CHEK

People in Nanaimo and the surrounding region had to dig their way out of driveways once again this morning after more than 10 centimetres of snow blanketed the area.

“It’s been good. I wanted to get to it before the rain comes they’re saying in a couple of days. It’s still nice and light so far,” said Andrew Hawkes, a Nanaimo resident.

This cold blast of air has not been good for everyone, however. This Stewart Avenue apartment was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a water sprinkler pipe, near the top of the three-storey building, burst, resulting in three units being heavily damaged

“Nobody ever wants something like this to happen but cold weather brings all sorts of things,” said Joanne Backstrom, one of the building’s residents.

Events like this have resulted in a huge bump in calls to plumbing companies across much of Vancouver Island.

“We’ve had multiple calls for frozen pipes, blown hot water heaters, furnaces and heat pumps not working. Frozen pipes have been the biggest thing,” said Shawn Waters of City Wide Plumbing.

In Nanaimo, crews have been clearing snow and working around the clock to keep streets safe since Christmas Eve.

“We’ve had crews out 24 hours managing the event since that time and we’ve seen something in the order of 60 centimetres. It’s an exceptional event,” said David Thompson, Nanaimo’s Roads and Traffic Services Manager.

Crews have cleared the priority routes and are working on the side streets but the city says you’ll need proper winter tires.

For the second day in a row, Canada Post also didn’t deliver mail in the Nanaimo, Ladysmith or the Gabriola Island region and today the non-delivery included a wider area from Victoria to Powell River, the Gulf Islands and the Lower Mainland.

The union representing letter carriers says the conditions are dangerous

“The streets aren’t cleared. They’re having a hard time keeping up. Any side street you go down is all slush. The sidewalks are horrible so letters carriers would have to walk on the roads where cars are going,” said Bob Freeman, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 786.

The union is asking neighbours to clear around community postal boxes and to provide a safe route to one’s home for letter and parcel delivery to resume.

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