Traffic was moving slow, but relatively uneventful on Sidney’s Lochside Drive Tuesday evening. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Traffic was moving slow, but relatively uneventful on Sidney’s Lochside Drive Tuesday evening. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney staff says almost all roads except smaller cul-de-sacs plowed

Environment Canada late Tuesday afternoon issued arctic outflow warning

As authorities warn of dropping temperatures and snow fall has resumed across Saanich Peninsula Tuesday evening, Sidney officials report that crews have plowed almost all 55 kilometres of roads in that community except for some smaller cul-de-sacs.

“We are now focusing on widening cleared areas and will continue working through the night,” said Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s acting chief administrative officer late Tuesday afternoon.

“Driving continues to be treacherous as ongoing cool temperatures have left compact snow and ice on roads,” he said. “It is best to avoid driving unless travel is essential.”

He added that the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department has responded to three minor vehicle accidents in Sidney so far today due to winter road conditions.

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“We thank all community members who have done their part by clearing the sidewalk in front of their home or business,” he said.

Crews have also been plowing buys roads in North Saanich and Central Saanich throughout Tuesday after heavy snowfall overnight Monday and early Tuesday morning. Authorities have urged residents to stay home and the light traffic throughout the area Tuesday suggests many followed such appeals. But weather conditions also temporarily trapped some vehicles, as it was the case at North Saanich’s Jubilee Park. It serves as the parking lot for the sledding hill near Victoria International Park and several vehicles had to be pulled out.

Residents across the Saanich Peninsula are now bracing for lower-than-usual temperatures after Environment Canada has issued an arctic outflow warning. According to the advisory issued at 4:24 p.m., an arctic front has brought in a cold airmass to the south coast. “Strong outflow winds are bringing temperatures 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal normals resulting in wind chill values approaching minus 25 to minus 20 over the Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands regions,” it reads.

The warning issues residents to dress warmly in layers and stay dry, when outside. “Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite,” it reads. “Ensure that shelter is provided for pets and outdoor animals. Be prepared for unusually cold temperatures and strong winds.”

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