Winter’s wrath

Two significant snowfalls in District 69 lead to school closures, a few crashes on local roads — and even plenty of winter fun

A plow scrapes the snow and ice off of the highway near Parksville this week.

A plow scrapes the snow and ice off of the highway near Parksville this week.

When the snow fell this week, it caused two things.

One, adventurous folks went to the Parksville Community Park to slide down the hill.

Two, other folks started wondering what would be open and what would be closed.

That question was answered Wednesday morning, when School District 69 (Qualicum) announced that schools would be open. They would later change that to a noon closure in the face of continuing snowfall. Meanwhile, students at Vancouver Island University were informed that classes in Nanaimo and Parksville were cancelled.

Elsewhere in the area, snow plows and entrepreneurial youth hit the streets to clear the snow and businesses opened for the day.

By Thursday, local schools had re-opened, but the cold temperatures continued.

Environment Canada has called for more snow and cold weather today (Jan. 20) — with warmer temperatures and rainfall Saturday and Sunday.

Oceanside drivers appeared to steer clear of weather-related crashes since the snow started to fall, although there were a few that ended up overturned or in the ditch, and RCMP Sergeant Darrell Robertson said he wants to keep it that way.

He urged motorists to take extra care when they get behind the wheel, now that roads are icy, snowy, slushy and slippery.

“We’ve had some minor incidents, but nothing major, a couple between here and Nanaimo,” he said. “People need to change their driving habits. On top of making sure your windshield is clear, you need to slow down. You can’t drive as though the conditions are the same as in the spring, summer or fall, because they’re not.”     — News staff/Neil Horner