Jacy Schindel has been a field camera operator at CBC News for 10 years — and having grown up in B.C.'s Kootenay mountains, he's seen his share of winter weather.

But he's never seen anything like the freezing rain storm that swept through the Fraser Valley Wednesday night.

"It's worse weather than I think I've almost ever seen," Schindel said.

Abbotsford freezing rain

Schindel says everything in Abbotsford is covered in several centimetres of ice, including this car abandoned by its driver in the Whatcom Plaza parking lot. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

Schindel drove from Vancouver to Abbotsford Thursday morning to cover the storm for CBC.

On the way, he passed fallen trees and power lines, abandoned cars, and a charter bus in the median of Highway 1.

"Everything out here is covered in a layer of ice, I'd say anywhere from two to four centimetres thick," he said.

"I was out shooting some downed power lines, and you could just hear the sound of breaking trees everywhere around you."

Abbotsford freezing rain

Though most major highways in the area are open, driving conditions in the Fraser Valley remain treacherous. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

Rain to continue through the weekend

Environment Canada initially issued a winter storm warning for the region on Wednesday, warning of the possibility of freezing rain as temperatures increased overnight.

That warning has now been changed to a rainfall warning, with Environment Canada calling for up to 20 millimetres of rain in Metro Vancouver.

Abbotsford freezing rain

As Schindel captured this shot of a downed power line near Abbotsford, he could hear the sound of frozen trees snapping all around him. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

Schindel says increasing wind is starting to compound the problem.

"It's just a driving rain with the wind and it's coating everything," he said. "My lens, my glasses — everything."

Environment Canada expects the rain to continue at least through Saturday.

Though most major highways in the area remain open, Environment Canada is recommending that non-essential travel be avoided if possible.