Snow no problem in Oak Bay

A goalie snowman graced a lawn in the 1700-block of St. Ann Street last week.

A goalie snowman graced a lawn in the 1700-block of St. Ann Street last week.

Camosun students left out in the cold Wednesday

Oak Bay public works called in a private contractor to help out clearing snow from streets during last week’s snowfall.

The private grader worked north Oak Bay, while two municipal plows worked the south end, said public works supervisor Joe Brooks.

“It caught everyone by surprise,” he said of the snowfall, which produced 15 to 20 cm of snow in 12 hours Feb. 23. “But by the end of the day we were fine.” 

Crews sanded streets, crosswalks and paid particular attention to intersections. In addition they helped out some residents stuck in driveways.

Public works received only one phone call in the cold snap that followed – temperatures dipped to -13 C with the wind chill – from a resident concerned about a frozen irrigation line.

Although only about a quarter of the student population showed up at Vic High on the snowy Wednesday, Oak Bay High had a better turnout. About 50 per cent of the 1,200-plus student body showed up for classes. Monterey middle school and Willows elementary had about the same attendance rate.

All Camosun College students received an e-mail from president Kathryn Laurin on Thursday explaining why they weren’t notified until 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday that classes would be cancelled that day. The lack of up-to-date information on the college’s website meant many students made their way to the Lansdowne and Interurban campuses, only to find classes were cancelled.

Laurin’s e-mail said facilities staff was out at 5 a.m. Wednesday and found little snow. But after Environment Canada posted a warning just before 9 a.m. the president made the decision to close the college.

She acknowledged the decision was “too little, too late” for some. Faculty received a similar letter from the president, saying the college’s handling of the closure situation will be reviewed.

There was no classes at the University of Victoria Feb. 23 due to reading break.