Snow covers much of BC Sunday, with more in some regions

Snow covered the lower mainland on Sunday morning.  The photo was taken in East Vancouver.  (Liam Britten/CBC News - photo credit)

Snow covered the lower mainland on Sunday morning. The photo was taken in East Vancouver. (Liam Britten/CBC News – photo credit)

A weather system blanketed much of BC in snow Saturday night, and Environment Canada is warning more could be on the way for the southern portion of the province.

On Saturday, parts of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast received up to 40 inches of snow, while Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley received between 10 and 25 inches. Northern BC and the central interior saw up to about 30 cm in height in some areas.

Snowfall warnings were in place for much of southern BC Sunday afternoon, including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Whistler, the Kootenays, Cariboo and parts of the Okanagan.

On Sunday morning, DriveBC warned of dangerous winter conditions. It urged motorists to be careful on highways across the province.

Several travel advisories recommend drivers to change their travel plans.

Andrew Kurjata/CBC

Andrew Kurjata/CBC

In an email to CBC, the Department of Transportation said its road and bridge maintenance companies were “working at full force” to clear the province’s roads.

It said Sunday afternoon provincial highways in the lower mainland were plowed overnight and were “mostly bare and wet”.

“Drivers can help maintenance crews by providing them with space on highways and driving across safely if they see a vehicle with a yellow light approaching,” the statement said.

According to BC Hydro, heavy snowfall caused damage to the power grid and a series of outages in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

As of 7:00 p.m. PT Sunday, about 240 customers in the Lower Mainland were without power. BC Hydro said customers at Buntzen Bay will be without service overnight as there was significant damage to power lines.

“Work has been suspended for the night and crews will resume line repairs Monday morning,” BC Hydro’s website said, adding that all customers are expected to have power back by late Monday afternoon.

Another 868 were without power in northern Vancouver Island and 522 in southern Vancouver Island.

Suzanne da Silva

Suzanne da Silva

“We had a system approach from the Gulf of Alaska [that] slid all along the coast and gave us a lot of snowfall,” said Bobby Sekhon, meteorologist at Environment Canada.

Sekhon said temperatures on BC’s south coast and Vancouver Island will rise on Sunday but will dip back below freezing overnight, which could result in a freeze-thaw cycle and occasional excitement. He said this could result in slippery road conditions.

Metro Vancouver Transit and Airport Delays

Translink said Sunday morning buses in Vancouver, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities are experiencing delays. It warned bus and SkyTrain systems could be affected on Sunday due to snow.

“Please be careful, allow for extra travel time and remember to dress warmly in anticipation of possible delays,” the agency said in a press release.

The City of Vancouver said on Twitter that crews were plowing key routes. It also reminded property owners and renters to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property by 10 a.m

Brad Atchison/Twitter

Brad Atchison/Twitter

Vancouver International Airport said in a statement Sunday morning that they are operating today on 88 percent of originally scheduled flights. It said snow is now transitioning to light showers but there is a possibility of additional delays and schedule adjustments due to overnight snow.

On Saturday afternoon, YVR said about 15 percent of flights to and from the airport have been canceled or delayed due to snowfall.

“Our Guest Experience team and YVR staff are in the terminal assisting those impacted by weather delays and assisting new departing passengers this morning,” it said.

The city of Surrey, which caught 30cm of snow overnight, says it has taken all its equipment – over 50 machines – onto the streets.

Road manager Matt Brown said there were no road closures overnight. He urged residents to clear gutters if possible.

“We will go through many freeze-thaw cycles. So if you could help us just by clearing catch basins and making sure the streets are properly drained,” he said.

BC Transit in Greater Victoria is also experiencing a series of service disruptions due to heavy snowfall.

50 cm of snow in Squamish

Squamish received up to 50cm of snow through Saturday and overnight.

Mayor Armand Hurford said he expects heavy traffic on the Sea to Sky Highway as people head home from Whistler in the evening, but roads were in good condition Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a beautiful winter wonderland here in Squamish,” Hurford said.



Hurford said he couldn’t remember the county getting so much snow in such a short amount of time.

“I think we’re very lucky that this happened on a Sunday and we didn’t have a lot of people trying to stick to that Monday-Friday work schedule.”


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