time last year, we revealed the great mystery of what Freshet is and how it can affect travel across our
beautiful province. Did you miss it? Here is a quick re-"freshet"-er: Freshet
is the technical term for rapid snowmelt as a result of rising spring
temperatures. This sudden release of
water from on high can destabilize soil and rock, causing mudslides, landslides
and rock slides, and also contribute to flooding. Freshet can make spring time a really busy
season for us here at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. We
work hard all year long to make sure that we are prepared to
receive these seasonal
"gifts", but, because Mother Nature often gives without warning, we
to increase your road awareness in the event of an emergency near you.
We have an extensive inventory of signs in use along our highways --many
which you are familiar with. We wanted to take a minute to highlight
our emergency signs. These are signs which you might not see very often
which you might notice, but not really understand the significance of),
could indicate a potential emergency situation for you while driving.
For example, Road Flooded, Washout and Forest Fire signs let you know exactly what to expect on the road ahead - most likely water and/or smoke, reduced visibility and ultimately, reduced mobility. Rock Fall Hazard signs are placed in areas which have been historically active. Educate yourself on areas of our province which have an active past of flooding and landslide activity. And should you happen to be in an area that's at risk of flooding or other emergency, keep yourself informed by checking for updates at Emergency Info BC.
Do you know what the sign below means?
Many people who see these signs on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland believe they indicate evacuation routes during an emergency situation but this is NOT TRUE. The Disaster Response Route sign actually identifies roads that have been designated for the sole purpose of moving emergency supplies, equipment and personnel during an emergency. They're not the way to go when you want to get the heck out of Dodge.
As a motorist, it's always a
good idea to keep an eye on DriveBC or DriveBC Mobile.
It has a comprehensive list of incidents, closures and delays marked in red on
the events list and the handy map is constantly being upgraded with new
features to help you know before you go.
And please remember, should you drive by an area where slide debris is being cleared or other road repairs are underway, please slow down in the cone zone. The people fixing the roads need to focus on their work - not worry about a close encounter with a vehicle.
Chances are you're not going to be affected by a spring landslide or
flood, but it is always wise to be
prepared, so that you can get around safely and reliably.
Because every season has its gifts!