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

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

Most Read