British Columbia

Fraser Valley ice storm creates slippery roads, leaves thousands without power

Fire and hydro crews were busy dealing with several back-to-back calls for fallen power lines and branches in Abbotsford and Mission overnight.

Fire and hydro crews busy overnight dealing with calls about fallen power lines and branches

A truck went off the road on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack on Friday morning. (Spencer Harwood/CBC)

Tens of thousands are still without power and roads are still treacherous after an ice storm rolled into the Fraser Valley late Thursday.

More than 50,000 customers were in the dark at one point late Friday after freezing rain coated much of Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission in a layer of ice.

Fallen hydro lines also forced the West Coast Express to temporarily cut off service east of Port Haney Station. 

West Abbotsford was coated in ice by Friday afternoon. (Bruce Schmunk)

BC Hydro and fire crews have been busy dealing with back-to-back calls for fallen power lines and branches, and the company said outages could last longer than usual due to the extensive damage.

Police have urged Abbotsford residents to stay home until the weather changes. Drivers who need to hit the road are advised to drive extremely carefully, watching for black ice and fallen debris.

Certain sections of road in the city were closed altogether due to fallen power lines.

"It is very slippery," said Sgt. Judy Bird. "Pedestrians should also be careful. It is slippery on the sidewalks and if you don't have to go out anywhere today, we're asking people to stay home."

By Friday afternoon, the freezing rain warning was expanded to southeast Metro Vancouver, including Surrey and Langley. Drive BC said there were multiple reports of "vehicle incidents" caused by the poor weather west of Hope just after 2 p.m. and, again, urged drivers to take it slow.

During the evening commute, Drive BC reported multi-hour delays between Chilliwack and Hope.

Heavy snow was also falling in the Nanaimo and Parksville areas, which are both under a snowfall warning.

This parking lot off Highway 1 in Abbotsford was almost entirely covered in ice. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)