Vancouver and its surroundings are in for “ice bombs” as wet snow and strong winds ravage the area according to Global News.
Certain bridges have been closed as well as sailings and ferries being cancelled early this afternoon. About 12,00 customers along lower mainland British Columbia are without power according to BC Hydro with another 5000 on Vancouver Island.
It began overnight with wet snow falling across the region and the forecast predicts it will continue until noon tomorrow before getting mild enough for the precipitation to turn to rain.
A snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Sea-to-Sky and inland Vancouver Island regions was in effect from Environment Canada until around 1 p.m.
Residents in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, North Surrey and Burnaby Mountain reported high amounts of snowfall and police urge commuters to not drive without winter tires and to drive with caution.
Police were forced to temporarily close several bridges. “Slush has accumulated on the cable stays and with high winds at the structure, is shedding onto the bridge deck. Ministry staff are onsite actively monitoring the weather and conditions at the bridge,” said a spokesperson in an email.
“As it will take time for traffic congestion to clear, the ministry encourages travellers to use alternative routes if possible.”
The SkyTrain is running as normal with all routes still in operation although there is much higher traffic as citizens are opting not to drive their own vehicles.
A paramedic crew managed to escape after their ambulance flipped on the Island Highway from the poor road conditions. They suffered no serious injuries.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said cancellations were expected to continue throughout the day and likely until tomorrow morning.