Most weather forecasts for Monday morning in Burnaby only warned about sub-zero temperatures.
The surprise snowstorm that hit the city meant engineering crews were kept very busy before Monday morning's rush hour.
"We had our salting crews out yesterday (Sunday)," said Doug Louie, the city's assistant director of engineering. "The snowfall was more than we expected, but we were expecting icy conditions so we had our salting trucks out on Sunday afternoon and at 3 a.m. (Monday)."
Louie said Burnaby crews were working on major routes most of Monday morning and by the afternoon, most of the major thoroughfares in the city were bare and wet.
"We are hearing about pockets in the city where there are greater accumulations on side streets," said Louie. "The southeast quadrant, we're hearing reports of two to four centimetres of accumulated snow."
Louie did say the big focus for engineering crews was salting and making sure slippery sections were attended to.
"Right now, there's no need for ploughing," Louie told the Burnaby NOW at noon Monday. "Our big concern is freezing and taking care of slippery sections."
Burnaby RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Dave Reid said the snow has made things a little more interesting for police.
"Traffic's definitely a little slower out there," said Reid. "But we haven't had reports of anything major. ... We are response-driven and we'll respond to accidents, but we haven't had too many reports to respond to so far."
In neighbouring New Westminster, it was a similar story.
"We were definitely caught by surprise," said Dave Cole, the city's assistant manager of operations in the engineering department. "When I was driving in to work, it was just a mist, but it turned to snow pretty quickly."
Once Cole got into work, that meant getting all hands on deck working on snow duty.
"We have eight trucks and all of them started working on our snow plan," said Cole. "That means doing major routes around the hospital, bus routes and major routes," said Cole. "For our employees, that means everybody goes onto snow duty."
Staff Sgt. Paul Hyland of the New Westminster Police Department said the police were dealing with a normal number of issues coming out of the surprise snowstorm, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
"From our perspective, the snow means we may have to chain up our vehicles and we help out where the city has set its priorities," said Hyland. "The city does a great job staying on top of things. ... I would imagine we might see increased calls for service because of accidents, but the city is doing its job of getting salting done and getting traction for cars on the road."
Cole said the engineering department did have one truck doing pre-salting Sunday night/early Monday morning, and with the continued cold temperatures expected Monday night, the city will have several more trucks pre-salting and treating the roads before Tuesday morning's rush hour.
"Our goal is to clear the ice and snow and keep the roads wet, instead of icy," said Cole. "We'll have crews out overnight and they'll try and stay on top of the situation."
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