A resident on Third Street in Courtenay digs her daughter’s car out from the heavy snowfall Tuesday morning after the Valley got blasted with a second snowstorm in two days. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Snow hinders garbage, recycling pickup in Valley municipalities

Delays may occur for municipal services throughout the Comox Valley

The second wave of snowstorms to batter the Comox Valley this week has affected some municipal services including garbage and recycling pickup.

Monday night through Tuesday morning, the area received between 4 to 10 cm of snow, according to Environment Canada during a second system which hit the majority of Vancouver Island.

As a result, the Town of Comox has cancelled collection for garbage, recycling and yard waste due to weather conditions.

According to a release from the Town, the tentative plan – weather permitting – is for pick up to work one day behind. Tuesday’s pick up will happen on Wednesday, Wednesday’s pick up will happen on Thursday, Thursday’s pick up will happen on Friday and Friday’s pick up will happen Saturday.

More updates will be posted on the Town’s website.

As for the City of Courtenay, regular pick up for garbage and yard waste is cancelled Tuesday due to weather conditions. According to the City, the tentative plan is similar to that of Comox’s – to work one date behind. Recycling is not scheduled for pick up this week.

In Cumberland, pickup is set for Wednesday and according to the Village’s CAO Sundance Topman, there have been no changes or cancellations.

The Comox Valley landfill which falls under the jurisdiction of the Comox Valley Regional District is open, confirmed Jennifer Steel, manager of corporate communications.

Despite the closure of CFB Esquimalt in Victoria for a second straight day (outside of essential personnel), 19 Wing Comox is operating as normal, according to a spokesperson from public affairs. However, non-operational impacts, personnel travelling to and from 19 Wing have experienced travel delays with commercial flights and ferries which have caused minor delays with some training.

At the Comox Valley Airport, Air Canada flight 8307 leaving to Vancouver at 9:55 a.m. was cancelled. Other flights arriving from Vancouver and Calgary were scheduled to be on time or arrive early.

RELATED: Snowstorms playing havoc with Island airports

“Snow is the common denominator – it brings the visibility down much more than rain,” explained airport CEO Fred Bigelow to The Record. “There are always concerns from an airport about their ability to keep runways and taxiways clear, but the team at 19 Wing is incredible and always keeps the airport open.”

While the airport terminal is operated by the Comox Valley Airport Commission, the operation and maintenance of runways fall under 19 Wing Comox’s jurisdiction. Because of 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron and the search and rescue operations, the airport is open 24/7, added Bigelow.

He encouraged passengers to check their airlines prior to departure or use third-party apps such as FlightAware which track flights in real time.

To check the status of a flight at the Comox Valley Airport, click here.

Other than the crew having to clear snow from the car deck, the Baynes Sound Connector ferry between Buckley Bay and Denman Island operates as normal in the snow, said Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs for BC Ferries.

“What we find is that the issue is more about customers and our crew being able to safely drive on the roads and highways to get to and from the terminals,” she added.

According to Environment Canada, a snowfall warning is in effect for east Vancouver Island from Courtenay to Campbell River Tuesday. A long period of snowfall with total amounts of 15 to 25 cm is expected.

The second disturbance off southwest Vancouver Island is spreading snow to virtually the entire coast Tuesday morning. The snowfall will gradually taper off this afternoon into the early evening as the low centre weakens.

On Wednesday, the high is predicted to be 2C and sunny, with an evening low of -5C. The average high this time of year is 7.1C.

The most snow recorded at the Comox weather station was in 38 cm in 1975.


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