Storm smacks B.C. triggering wind, rain and snowfall warnings

Weather warnings are now in place for large parts of southern B.C and the Peace River region as a strong storm hits the province.

Environment Canada says up to 80 millimetres of rain could fall in some areas

A car runs through a large puddle in Vancouver on Monday. A strong winter storm pummeling the South Coast is expected to last through Tuesday. (David Horemans/CBC)

Weather warnings are now in place for large parts of southern B.C and the Peace River region as a strong storm hits the province.

Environment Canada says up to 80 millimetres of rain could fall in some areas, including Metro Vancouver, by Tuesday morning.

The agency's forecast says winds from 80 km/h up to 110 km/h are expected for Victoria and the Central Coast.

As a result of the storm and harsh weather, officials across Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island have opened extreme weather shelters to get people out of the elements.

BC Ferries also cancelled several sailings on Monday morning, including routes between Comox and Powell River and between Hornby Island and Denman Island.

The River Forecast Centre has issued a flood watch for multiple areas and high streamflow advisories for others.

Avalanche Canada has also increased avalanche danger at the alpine level of the Sea to Sky region to high, given the incoming storm.

The tram up Grouse Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore has also been closed and conditions on the Grouse Grind are reported to be slippery due to mixed snow and rain.

BC Hydro said it hadn't seen too much of a service impact by 6:30 a.m. Monday, but said its crews are on standby in case of power outages.

Snow and freezing rain

Snowfall warnings are also in place for parts of the southern Interior where up to 25 centimetres of snow is expected in some of the mountain passes.

In the province's northeast, a freezing rain warning is in effect. School buses in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek have been cancelled. City buses in the latter aren't running either.

Highway 97 at Pine Avenue in Taylor, looking south. Drivers have been asked to avoid the stretch as well as Highway 2 and Highway 49 until conditions improve, due to freezing rain. (DriveBC)

Drivers have been asked to avoid Highway 97 from Taylor to East Pine as well as Highway 2 and Highway 49 until conditions improve.

"We are sanding and salting and getting to all the roads as soon as possible," read an email from Shelley Fulmes, spokesperson with Caribou Road Services.

With files from Andrew Kurjata