Winter is here, enjoy it by being prepared

January 10, 2020

News update

Winter is here, enjoy it by being prepared

Saanich, BC – It may be 2020 but let’s not forget the snowfall of 1996! The District of Saanich is proactively preparing for the upcoming winter weather and encourages residents to be aware of weather-related issues that could arise in the coming months.

Snow and ice removal

When the snow starts to fall, Saanich crews clear roads on a prioritized schedule and aim to clear priority routes within 24 hours. Saanich crews clear snow from municipal facility entrances and parking lots as well as in front of municipal buildings. When cold weather is in the forecast, crews control ice by pre-treating roadways with an anti-icing brine. The brine applied to roads can be effective for up to three days in ideal weather conditions.

Saanich crews ensure priority routes are treated first:

  • Emergency access routes
  • Major roads
  • Priority bus routes
  • Steep residential hills
  • Priority sidewalks and bridges

Don’t forget that property owners are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks in front of their properties and are encouraged to assist neighbours when possible.

Updated winter road maintenance and snow and ice webpages:

Closures due to inclement weather

Saanich recreation centres and other municipal facilities and parks may close in the event of snow or other inclement weather. If schools in School District 61 are closed, then all registered programs and lessons taking place before 3 p.m. at Saanich recreation centres will be cancelled. However, please note that centres may remain open. If BC Transit buses are not running, Saanich recreation centres will be closed.  We advise checking with your local recreation centre before heading out. Commonwealth Place 250-475-7600, G.R. Pearkes 250-475-5400, Gordon Head 250-475-7100, Cedar Hill 250-475-7121.

Closure notifications and additional information will be posted on the Saanich website and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) and shared with local media.

Watch for trees and branches during windstorms

Saanich has a lot of trees, and sometimes they shed some branches. Look for downed power lines and keep a safe distance. Trees or branches on hydro lines should to be reported to BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376.

For municipal parks, boulevards or other public lands and tree issues, please contact Saanich Parks at 250-475-5522 or The same number applies after hours.

Power outages

Most power outages last only minutes, but in severe weather events, the power can be off for longer periods of time. Think ahead by ensuring you have a flashlight, blankets and a fully-charged cell phone on-hand in the event of a power outage. Never use a camp stove, barbecue, or propane or kerosene heater indoors. Saanich’s Emergency Program has tips on what to include in your emergency kit.

Please consider checking in with neighbours who may need assistance in the event of a power outage.

For more information on preparing your home and business, to report an outage and for outage maps and restoration times, contact BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376 or visit the BC Hydro website.

Prevent and report flooding

Saanich crews are taking steps to prevent flooding by inspecting critical drainage infrastructure. In the event of a flood on streets and sidewalks, call 250-475-5599 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The same number applies after hours.

Sandbags are available at our public works yard at 1040 McKenzie Avenue if residents need to divert overland rain water flow during a flood. Residents are also encouraged to avoid fast-moving water in a storm situation.

Tips to prevent flooding in your home:

  • Remove leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainageSeal cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows and foundations and all window wells.
    • The leaf collection program is finished for the year but leaves can be placed in your green bin or flower beds.
  • Check for moisture along the walls and floor.
  • Ensure that your plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition.
  • Clear eavestroughs, downspouts and catch basins of leaves and other debris that may keep water from draining.
  • Keep your drain system clean and in good repair.
  • Make sure that no garbage, leaves, ice or other debris blocks storm sewer or catch basin grates on or near your property.

Need more information?

For updates and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Residents can report issues on Saanich’s website.


Media Contact:
Saanich Communications