Snow brings crashes, traffic delays and school closures
Published Monday, January 16, 2012 4:26PM PST
Snow made for treacherous road conditions in Metro Vancouver Monday, causing headaches for drivers and transit users alike and cancelling classes at a handful of private schools.
Overturned cars, trucks in ditches and fender benders were a common sight for motorists, despite the efforts of salting crews and snowplow operators.
An Environment Canada snowfall warning issued early Monday morning cautioned up to 10 centimetres of snow could hit the region by Tuesday, while up to 15 were expected in the Fraser Valley.
Drivers were urged to avoid Highway 1 from Chiliwack to 232nd Street in Langley, an area that saw so many accidents that tow companies were ordered to ignore vehicles that left the road and focus on those that impeded the flow of traffic.
Commuters who left their cars at home in the morning were met by crowded and delayed buses, but TransLink spokesman Drew Snider urged patience with more snow in the forecast for the rest of the week.
"Leave the car at home," Snider said, adding that those who do should "make sure you're dressed for the cold. There are going to be delays out there."
"People need to remember that buses are only as good as the road conditions."
Icy patches caused problems on the Granville Bridge and a handful of busy Vancouver intersections, including 10th Avenue and Alma Street near the University of British Columbia, but no public schools were closed.
Roughly a dozen private schools in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley kept their doors shut, however, as did the University of the Fraser Valley and all public schools in Mission.
Ken Cousin, BCAA's vice president of Road Assist, said drivers can lower their chances of trouble by using winter tread tires and keeping their wiper blades and lights in working condition.
Though most winter drivers will scrape snow off of their windshield for safety, Cousin says many will leave it piled up on other parts of the vehicle.
"That's just plain dangerous. You want to clear all your windows off, you want to scrape ‘em all down. Knock the snow off your roof so it doesn't end up on your windows or your windshield," Cousin said.
Environment Canada has forecast wind chill values near minus 20 degrees or below through the next few days, as snow is expected to continue to fall, with amounts varying across the South Coast.
For the latest forecasts and warnings, visit the BC Weather Office website.
Up-to-date road conditions can be found at Drive BC.