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Become a Richmond Snow Angel

The City of Richmond is on the lookout for its annual army of Snow Angels to help the elderly and disabled this winter. As the colder weather starts to kick in, the city is asking volunteer organizations to become Snow Angels.

The City of Richmond is on the lookout for its annual army of Snow Angels to help the elderly and disabled this winter.

As the colder weather starts to kick in, the city is asking volunteer organizations to become Snow Angels.

Heavy winter snowfall can cause several problems for some Richmond residents - including elderly citizens and persons with illnesses and disabilities. Richmond's Snow Angels can offer voluntary assistance with tasks such as snow removal and pickup and delivery of medication and groceries.

"In its third year, the Richmond Snow Angels program is a much appreciated community service connecting helpful organizations with those who find themselves confined during severe winter storms," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

"Coordinated by the city, the program has registered several local organizations committed to helping Richmond residents in every neighbourhood."

The Snow Angels program is activated during major snowfall events. This is defined as 48 hours of continuous snowfall and a minimum of 15 centimetres of snow.

Registering to be a Snow Angel organization is easy, according to the city; simply contact the city's parks programs coordinator at 604 244 1250 or email pbrar@richmond.ca.

Residents needing assistance can access the Snow Angels registry in several ways during a major snowfall: Call Richmond City Hall at 604 276 4000 or the city's parks and recreation department at 604 244 1208 or your local community centre. The registry can also be accessed online at www.richmond.ca/winter.

In addition to the Snow Angels program, the city's Be a Good Neighbour campaign encourages all able-bodied residents to clear the walkways in front of their homes, then help others who can't.

There's no registry to join or dispatch to call; all someone has to do is adopt the sidewalk, driveway and/or walkway of an elderly person or other neighbour who may need help this winter and keep their areas clear of snow, or ask if you can lend a hand in some other way.

For more information on winter weather preparedness for you and the City of Richmond, visit www.richmond.ca/winter.

Clear up leaves

Meanwhile, with the recent heavy rains and high winds, the City of Richmond is asking for the public's help in clearing leaves away from sidewalks and catch basins.

Leaves accumulating on walkways and in residential streets can cause many hazards.

When leaves gather on sidewalks, they create a slipping hazard and when left to pile up in residential streets, they cause traction issues, which could cause slipping and longer braking times.

In addition, the leaves often clog gutters and catch basins, which can reduce or prevent water flow, resulting in localized street and property flooding.

City crews are asking residents and businesses to help in clearing leaves from the roadside gutters and catch basins onto the boulevard.

Multi-family or commercial complexes that use landscape contractors should remind their contractor it is a bylaw infraction to blow leaves onto roadways, and instead, have them collect the leaves for composting.

On heavy rainfall days, city crews have an increased presence, dealing with water flow issues. Crews attend to heavy leaf issues as discovered during regular patrols or as people report them.

Having residents and businesses assist in clearing gutters and catch basins, the city said, helps prevent the expense of dealing with problems that could arise.

Residents in single-family homes can put leaves in their Green Can or paper yard waste bags for curbside collection. Unlimited amounts of leaves and trimmings can be dropped off at Ecowaste (Triangle Road off the south foot of No. 6 Road) or up to one cubic yard of leaves and trimmings can be dropped off free of charge at the City's Recycling Depot (5555 Lynas Lane). Proof of Richmond residency is required.

The public is also urged to call the city at 604 270 8721 regarding any blocked gutters and catch basins spotted in roadways. For safety reasons, residents are asked not to remove leaves from busy roads.