Highway 5 at Mine Creek Road on Dec. 19, 2019. (DriveBC photo)

VIDEO: One person dead as winter storm wreaks havoc on southern B.C. highways

70 centimetres of snow has fallen on the Coquihalla Highway

An atmospheric river has brought copious amounts of snow and rain to southern B.C. in the past 24 hours – with the hazardous conditions expected to continue through the weekend.

A rockslide near Boston Bar closed Highway 1 in both directions Friday morning, but has since reopened.

The Coquihalla Highway was closed northbound between Hope and Merritt for several hours Friday morning, due to a number of vehicle incidents. That route reopened only to be closed southbound at the Highway 97 junction in Merritt.

Highway 3 is closed between Hope and Princeton due to an accident.

One person, a woman in her 30s, died while travelling near the Paulson Bridge on Highway 3 in the Kootenays on Thursday. Another person was taken to hospital with unknown injuries.

Wintry conditions will continue through the weekend, and has prompted a warning from the province for those travelling this pre-holiday weekend to plan ahead, slow down and drive appropriately.

“While snow plows will be out in full force to maintain the safest driving conditions possible, drivers need to expect winter conditions,” a statement from the ministry of transportation reads.

“Travellers are advised to bring warm winter clothing in case they need to get out of their vehicles, ensure they have a full tank of gas and carry an emergency kit.”

As of Friday morning, Environment Canada said that 40 to 70 centimetres of snow fell along the Coquihalla Highway, between Merritt and Hope. The Coquihalla remains closed northbound due to a number of vehicle incidents.

Allison Pass on Highway 3 saw 56 centimetres, while Larson Hill on Highway 5 was blanketed with 36 centimetres of snow.

Meanwhile, residents in the Kootenays, Okanagan and North will likely be waking up to a white Christmas as snow continues to fall in lesser amounts, or roughly five to 20 centimetres each day.

In the Lower Mainland, Agassiz saw 62 millimetres of rain and Hope saw 40 to 52 millimetres fall, while localized flooding could be seen in Surrey, Vancouver and other Metro Vancouver cities.

In Greater Victoria, where a wind warning was issued Thursday afternoon, wind gusts reached 107 kilometres per hour at the Trial Lightstation.

The pre-Christmas weather comes on the anniversary of last year’s major storm in the southern region of the province, which brought strong winds and heavy rain – breaking the White Rock pier and causing significant power outages on Vancouver Island.

ONE YEAR LATER: Looking back on the storm that broke the White Rock pier


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Landlords and renters need to work through ‘critical time,’ says Langley MLA

Evictions are suspended during provincial order of emergency

Township of Langley urges residents to buy local

From farmers to mom and pop stores, Mayor Jack Froese commends Langley’s economy

Langley’s CARES cat shelter halts adoptions

Concern for volunteers during COVID-19 caused the pause

Hospital foundation seeks ventilators, respite for weary medics

The newest fundraiser for Langley Memorial targets needs of the COVID-19 crisis

Langley student earns educational excursion to Belgium and France through Vimy Ridge Foundation

Una Chang said she’s still looking forward to the trip, despite COVID-19 postponing it by half a year

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read