British Columbia

Record-breaking snowfall knocks out power, cancels buses in northeastern B.C.

Crews in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and throughout northeastern B.C. are working to restore power and clear roads after a heavy overnight snowfall.

55 cm recorded in Fort St. John in first major snowfall of the season

Between 20 and 55 centimetres of snow had fallen throughout the Peace by Wednesday morning, making for treacherous driving conditions. (Algie Billey)

A record-breaking snowfall knocked out power to thousands of customers Tuesday and shut down bus routes in northeast B.C.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa West, 23.0 cm fell in Fort St. John, beating the previous daily high of 15.2 centimetres on October 24, 1933.

An additional 32 centimetres fell on the city Wednesday morning for a total of 55 centimetres.

Overnight snow cancelled city buses in Fort St. John until ploughs were able to get onto the streets. (Julie Rogers)

"That came close to but didn't break the old [October 25] record of 35.6 centimetres set in 1918," West said.

All city buses in Fort St. John were cancelled until 1 pm, waiting for snow ploughs to clear the roads.

All school buses in Peace River North and South, which include Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Chetwynd, have been cancelled. Schools remain open.

Snowstorms knocked out power to more than 5,000 customers in the region, though the number has fallen as crews work to restore service.

On the highways, DriveBC is reporting heavy slush, compact snow and slippery sections through the Pine Pass and on roads throughout the northeast.

A mutli-vehicle incident 23 kilometres north of Fort St. John reduced traffic to single-lane alternating.

 West said not much more snow is expected, as a high pressure ridge brings warmer weather to the region.

"The snow has tapered off, and the bulk of it has moved off into the Prairies, so we're really not expecting much more to fall except for a few light flurries," she said.

More than 20 centimetres of snow fell overnight Tuesday, and Environment Canada is forecasting up to 30 centimetres in total. (Carmen Wilms)

Sun and highs of up to 15 degrees are forecast for the rest of the week.

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