Photo by Joy Real on Unsplash.

Snowstorm expected to cost Vancouver Island thousands of dollars

Vancouver Island’s first snowstorm of 2020 is estimated to cost the island’s southern region tens of thousands of dollars.

The Vancouver Island Free Daily reports that dozens of trucks have been on the road, with 180 tonnes of salt that’s already been used in Victoria alone.

Emcon Services has been contracted out by B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation to clear highways and main streets between Victoria, Sooke, the Malahat and Bamberton.

Andrew Gaetz, the company’s quality assurance manager and road safety patroller, said on Monday that most of its 21 trucks were clearing the snow, but that the team has been working hard since Sunday night.

“I’d say on the Malahat alone we’ve probably used between 35-50 tonnes of salt,” he said.

Gaetz said that it costs about $10,000 to work for one night alone, adding that Emcon has called in its entire staff to work due to the amount of snow expected to arrive in the region between now and Friday.

In Victoria, the city is equipped with dump trucks, plows, salters and other equipment for clearing snow along sidewalks, bus stops and protected bike lanes.

Brian Murphy, the city of Victoria’s assistant director of public works told the Vancouver Island Free Daily that staff has already salted the roads as a precautionary measure.

“We have 400 tonnes of salt and expect that to be enough for this snow event,” Murphy said. “We also have an order in to replace what we are currently using.”