Snow creates whiteout conditions, causing chaos on roads
Published Sunday, February 10, 2019 2:06PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2019 7:55PM PST
Dozens of collisions have been reported since the snow started falling, and sticking to the ground, on Sunday.
Authorities closed the Malahat Highway between West Shore Parkway and Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road due to the heavy snowfall and dangerous road conditions. The highway was reopened two hours later around 8 p.m.
Via @DriveBC - #Malahat closed both directions at Westshore Parkway. There are numerous cars spun out. @MainroadSIsland working to get plows through and we are working to clear traffic. Queue is backed up to Thetis Lake.#yyj #vanisle #bchwy1 #yyjtraffic pic.twitter.com/HqnkHFfDyv— BC Transportation (@TranBC) February 11, 2019
Another major Vancouver Island roadway, Pat Bay Highway from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Keating Cross Road, was also shut down after slick conditions caused at least dozen crashes, according to RCMP.
Over in Metro Vancouver, Drive BC reported several collisions on the Alex Fraser Bridge, describing the roads as having "compact snow with slippery sections and heavy snowfall causing limited visibility."
The patio @carlosobryans at 7th & Burrard took a hit in the #vancouversnow - Snow will continue in the Lower Mainland over the next couple of hours tapering by midnight. Expect slippery conditions. #BCstorm @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/nt8mZpCp7B— Krissy Vann (@KrissyVann) February 11, 2019
Icy conditions create transit delays
Commuters relying on transit can expect to see long delays, warned Translink.
The Expo Line trains to Production Way are terminating at Columbia Station "due to track issues."
Translink has set up a shuttle train between Columbia Station and Lougheed Station.
Bus riders are also told to expect delays of up to an hour due to the road conditions.
Up to 15 cm expected
Earlier in the afternoon, Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
The weather agency warns five to 10 cm of snow is expected to blanket much of Metro Vancouver, the North Shore, Greater Victoria, the southern Gulf Islands, and east and inland Vancouver Island.
It said the heaviest snowfall is expected on parts of the island where the Malahat Highway and Lake Cowichan area will see about 10 to 15 cm of snow through Monday morning.
As with pretty much everywhere in #yvr right now, Hwy 1 is moving very slow in both directions. Pretty icy. Poor visibility. Just stay inside if you can. (Coming from an Edmontonian) @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/Y1H01qfDG4— Breanna Karstens-Smith (@BreannaCTV) February 10, 2019
Environment Canada reminds motorists to adjust their driving for changing road conditions.
Drive BC suggests drivers slow down, keep sufficient distance from the car in front of you and allow enough time to brake in these slippery conditions.