With schools in the Sooke School District closed on Tuesday, students took advantage of the weather for some fun. (Photo by Sarah Iles)

Sooke survives snowfall with few problems reported

Community hunkered down and waiting it out

Sooke seems to be braving its way through the latest major weather event, despite record snowfalls and the inherent problems associated with transportation routes in and out of the community.

Drive BC continued to report that Highway 14 was closed in both directions between Cerantes Rd and Sheringham Point Rd for 54.2 km (12 km east of Jordan River to Port Renfrew) and between Sombrio Beach Trail and Petrel Dr (7 km west of Jordan River).

The highway between Sooke and Langford was open but a travel advisory was in place.

Since Friday Sooke and the rest of Greater Victoria have experienced more snow than any February since 1941.

After last night’s snowfall, the snowfall recorded in the region smashed the 2014 record of 39.4 cm. with more than 56.4 cm of snow recorded thus far in February.

RELATED: Records broken

But despite the inclement weather, it’s apparent that the people of Sooke are a hardy bunch.

Constable Steve James of the Sooke RCMP reported that , as of Monday morning, things have been fairly quiet in the community with no unusual changes in the nature or number of calls to the detachment.

Similarly, at Sooke Fire Rescue, Deputy Chief Matt Barney reported that his firefighters have the trucks all chained up and ready to go, but that there have been few weather related calls and that the Department is staffed, and “ready for anything”.

Over at the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department, Chief John McCrae reported that his firefighters have been occupied with keeping the driveway cleaned of snow to maintain access in and out.

“We’ve had a few public assists, but nothing too serious,” said McCrea.

He described how volunteers attended one home where the handicapped homeowner had discovered that his water system had ceased to function after a prolonged power outage ended.

“We went and got it going again…that’s just the sort of thing we do sometimes.”

The Sooke Emergency Weather Shelter has been operational since Friday, and has seen three or four people a night taking advantage of the warm, dry facility in the face of the horrendous weather.

RELATED: Shelter opens

“Sooke hasn’t had a shelter for a long time and it’s a matter of getting the word out to the homeless community,” said Linda McLean of Our Place, the group who is overseeing the operation of the shelter.

“But the community has been very supportive and the men using the shelter have been very grateful and relieved to have a warm place to stay.”


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