Automobile tire stores swamped as snow flies

Now that the first heavy snowfall is here, people are coming to terms with the fact that the beautiful weather we have been enjoying wasn't going to last forever.

Now that the first heavy snowfall is here, people are coming to terms with the fact that the beautiful weather we have been enjoying wasn’t going to last forever.

That and they should have gotten their snow tires put on earlier.

The wait for an appointment to swap out your treads is 12 days. Before the snow fell this week, that number was four to five days, said Canadian Tire’s Dale Johnson.

At Kal Tire, where appointments are not possible, you’ll have to leave your car for at least 24 hours to get the other set of tires on.

“We’re insanely busy,” said manager Rick Copes, adding that staff are staying late to get as many cars through as possible.

On Thursday morning there was seven centimetres of snow on the ground outside Environment Canada’s station at the top of Two Mile Hill, said meteorologist Doug Lundquist.

Looking out the window Friday morning, much of the white stuff had already melted.

But Lundquist warned it’s unlikely to disappear completely.

“Seven centimetres is a lot to melt. Some of it is probably here for good,” he said.

It is expected to warm up a little – the high for Monday and Tuesday is four degrees.

This year’s snow came a little bit later than last year. In 2012 the first day snow stayed on the ground was Oct. 10, Lundquist said.

It’s difficult to say when the territory had its earliest snowfall ever.

“Historically speaking, there’s probably been snow at some point in every month of the year in Yukon,” he said.

Whitehorse RCMP responded to 13 weather-related traffic calls between 5 a.m. Wednesday morning and 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Two were collisions and 11 were for vehicles that had ended up in the ditch.

“Basically be attentive all the time, leave early if you need to and adjust your speed according to the weather,” said Const. Dean Hoogland.

The city operations department is responsible for snow and ice control on approximately 300 kilometres of roads in the city. That includes everything except the Alaska Highway, which is maintained by the territorial government.

The snow began at 5 a.m. Wednesday and the government’s plows and sanders were off and running by 6 a.m., said Doris Wurfbaum with the Department of Highways and Public Works.

The Yukon government plows and sands 4,100 kilometres of highways and roads across the territory, she said. Sand is used unless conditions change to freezing rain. At the point crews switch to salt.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com