The Elk Valley was hit by heavy snow and high speed winds overnight on Friday

The Elk Valley was hit by heavy snow and high speed winds overnight on Friday

Storm blasts Elk Valley

The Elk Valley was hit by stormy weather over the weekend, resulting in 33 cm of snow overnight.

Environment Canada issued a storm warning for Fernie and the Elk Valley on Friday, November 28 and by the following Saturday morning, approximately 33 cm of snow fell in the area according to the Fernie Alpine Resort.

Heavy snow combined with winds blowing between 50-70 km/hour rushed through the Elk Valley and made for poor driving visibility. Locals were advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

At the Elkview mines in Sparwood, approximately 37 workers were stuck due to highway closures, preventing them from going off-site.

Alex Hanson, president of United Steelworkers 9346, posted an update on the Elk Valley Road Report Facebook page regarding the workers’ conditions.

Although Hanson said that Teck has a contingency plan for weather-related emergencies such as this to ensure workers will have access to hot meals and cots, he still appreciated the outpouring of support that soon piled in from local businesses offering their food services.

“It was cool to see the community pitch in and say, ‘What can we do about the situation?’,” said Hanson. “Seeing social media actually get put to good use was cool. Thankfully, the storm blew in and out within a few hours.”

Ann Wegesser-Zweerink, owner of Extra Foods in Fernie, was one of those businesses who opted to step up.

Funky’s Pizza in Sparwood were also quick to help out the workers at Elkview.

“It’s happened before,” said Hanson of the situation, “but we just want to make sure that more people don’t get trapped in the weather trying to get food to these workers.”

On Friday, the Sparwood Leisure Centre also served as a warming spot for locals in the darkness of the storm.