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Richmond family step up during snowfall chaos

They provided food, drinks, chargers and even washroom access to those stuck in their vehicles.
A Richmond family took the streets to offer drinks and help to those stranded in their car during Tuesday's snowstorm.

A Richmond family showed that kindness can go a long way, especially during a snowstorm.

A video posted on TikTok has garnered attention as a father and daughter duo offered food and drinks to people stuck in their vehicles while the snow wreaked havoc in the Lower Mainland on Tuesday.

The video showed father Tejinder Johal and his daughter Naseeb Johal approaching every car on their street with a hot water kettle and a tower of paper cups.

@heavenjohal My dad and sister wanted to offer people food and drinks some people hadn’t eaten since breakfast and were starving #richmondbc #snow #vancouver #snowday #driving #fyp #FlexEveryAngle #DoTheSmartThings #foryoupage @Naseeb ♬ Gilded Lily - Cults

“We decided to do something because these poor people were waiting in their cars for so long,” said Tejinder, adding he had “never seen anything like this in the past 20 years” of living in Richmond.

“What were they going to do if nobody was going to offer them help?”

The Johal family told the Richmond News that traffic was backed up on Steveston Highway as early as 5 p.m.

And by 8 p.m., their neighbourhood was jammed with cars “trying to figure their way around the city,” assumingly looking for shortcuts.

Simrit Johal, the owner of the TikTok account and Tejinder’s other daughter, said she decided to record the chaos as it got worse in the evening.

“People barely moved along the street, and it would take 30 minutes for them to move past one house,” said Simrit.

“Everyone had different needs as they were stuck. We gave food, drinks and even helped charge someone’s phone for them. Some people hadn’t eaten since breakfast.”

The family even offered their washroom for those who needed it. Other neighbours also offered snacks to drivers.

By 1 a.m., vehicles in the video were still lining up with no end in sight.

Despite the chaos, Tejinder was impressed by the “patience of Canadians,” or at least what he experienced from the drivers in his neighbourhood.

“There was no yelling and no honking. People were just so graceful considering the situation they were in,” he said.

“The Canadian culture of fairness and just patience and respect for one another was alive and well.”

However, he questioned the proficiency of the city’s snow response services such as tow trucks, which “were not seen at all.”

“The Canadian services and systems (for snow response) … failed miserably. The system needs improving,” said Tejinder.