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Chaos on the roads as first snowfall of the year hits Metro Vancouver


Snow started falling across Metro Vancouver Thursday afternoon, and reports of spun-out vehicles and potentially lengthy travel delays for commuters quickly followed.

Although only a couple of centimetres have accumulated, the snow’s arrival snarled traffic all over Vancouver.

A screenshot of Google Maps shows heavy traffic across Metro Vancouver around 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11.

Within hours of the first flakes falling, there were several vehicle incidents across the region, including spun-out transit busses and crashes.

Around 3 p.m., a transit bus spun out on Highway 1 at Mountain Highway in North Vancouver and blocked most of the roadway, according to DriveBC.

In New Westminster, a bus slid down a hill and hit a parked jeep.

And in Richmond, a “multi-vehicle incident” involving upwards of 25 vehicles blocked all lanes on Highway 91 at the “S-Curve” east of Nelson Road. DriveBC warned of “major delays.” 

The Port Moody Police Department asked drivers to avoid the Heritage Woods area due to “numerous vehicle incidents.”

In a similar alert, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services said about 30 vehicles had crashed in the city, and urged residents to avoid driving unless necessary.

“Drive slow, make sure your car is cleared and you have proper tires if driving,” the fire department wrote.

The Millennium SkyTrain line is also experiencing delays due to the weather. TransLink said the Expo and Canada lines are still running as normal. Multiple bus routes are taking detours. 

YVR advised travellers to give themselves extra time to get to the airport.

The snow comes as an Arctic outflow arrives in B.C. Environment and Climate Change Canada said the Arctic air and winds gusting to 60 km/h will result in wind chill down to -20 C Thursday night in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the Fraser Valley.

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