The Parksville Qualicum Beach area is dealing with a heavy snowfall this week.
Parksville Fire Department and Qualicum Beach Fire Department reported no snow-related calls over the past 24 hours, as of noon on Dec. 20.
The snow does slow response times, according to Parksville Fire Chief Marc Norris, because it takes longer for volunteer on-call members to reach the station and for crews to reach incident scenes from the station.
Oceanside RCMP responded to four weather-related collisions since midnight on Dec. 19 — none were serious, according to Sgt. Shane Worth.
Police were called out to 15 weather-related collisions between midnight on Saturday, Dec. 17 and the morning of Monday, Dec. 19, with no serious injuries reported.
Friso McKenzie, Qualicum Beach deputy fire chief, thanked community members for limiting unnecessary travel in the challenging driving conditions.
Norris added the fire department is grateful to city crews for clearing snow from and salting the fire department’s parking areas. He reminded residents to slow down and move over on the road if they encounter any emergency responders or any other service workers, such as tow truck operators and road crews.
“Also, we’d remind citizens and visitors to be prepared for power outages,” Norris said. “And to ensure they have working carbon monoxide alarms in their homes if operating appliances using combustible fuel such as wood, natural gas or propane.”
City of Parksville crews have been working 24/7 to clear snow, according to the city.
City of Parksville offices, both City Hall and operations, are open today (Dec. 20).
Town of Qualicum Beach offices are also open.
The Parksville branch of Vancouver Island Regional Library opened at noon, while the Qualicum Beach branch is closed.
Students in School District 69 (Qualicum) have been on winter vacation since Dec. 19.
The Qualicum Beach Community Park Ball Fields are closed to any organized sporting events, although they are still open for sledding, until further notice due to the weather conditions.
— NEWS Staff