Most weather forecasts for Monday morning in New Westminster only warned about sub-zero temperatures.
The surprise snowstorm caught many people off-guard, including New Westminster public works employees.
"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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