British Columbia

Snow, slush and rain messes up morning commute, closes campuses

A mix of snow, slush and rain made for a sloppy Monday morning commute in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

SkyTrain, buses and cars all having trouble in the thick heavy snow and slush

Snow and slush blankets Victoria Drive in East Vancouver Monday morning. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

A mix of snow, slush and rain made for a sloppy Monday morning commute in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

The region was hit hard by heavy snow overnight starting around 3 a.m. PT and streets in many parts of the Lower Mainland are covered in a thick mix of slush and snow, making for treacherous driving conditions.

Other areas have slick and icy roads and drivers are warned to be careful.

Cheryl Nelms, deputy general manager of engineering with the City of Vancouver, said crews are focusing on clearing the main arterial routes such as Cambie Street before moving on to other roads.

TransLink is reporting buses having trouble in many areas, particularly on hills, including routes up to UBC and SFU. Buses are stuck and otherwise delayed in:

  • All areas north of 41st Avenue in Vancouver.
  • All areas north of Highway 1 in Burnaby.
  • All areas north of 96th Avenue in Surrey;
  • All areas of New Westminster.
  • Check TransLink for more information.

West Coast Express trains were delayed due to a fallen tree.

The Stanley Park seawall was closed because of falling ice near Prospect Point, and the Vancouver Park Board had no estimate as to when it might be reopened. 

The Expo Line's 29th Street Station was closed for several hours due to a police-involved shooting, but reopened at 3 p.m. PT.

Other weather-related SkyTrain delays were also reported earlier this morning.

TransLink spokesperson Anne Drennan said the Canada Line is running normally, but trains on all other lines are being ridden by attendants to ensure safety, as the track intrusion alarms have been disabled due to the snow.

"It's a mess out there," she said.

She said numerous buses are stopped altogether in Vancouver and Burnaby pending plowing of their routes by the city.

Today is the first day of a number of bus route and scheduling changes, and Drennan advised transit riders to check TransLink's trip planner to ensure they get where they want to go.

Bridge delays, campus closures

Crews will be dropping collars to clear snow on the Port Mann Bridge and drivers should expect delays as workers clean up after the sudden snowfall, according to the bridge crew.

BCIT, VCC, Capilano University and Douglas College have closed their campuses for the day because of the the conditions.

UBC has cancelled the 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. exams at the Point Grey campus. Students should check the UBC website for details on other exams.

SFU's Burnaby and Surrey campuses will not open until noon today.

An ugly mess of snow, slush and rain greeted early commuters in downtown Vancouver on Monday morning. (Mike Laanela/CBC)

BC Hydro is reporting more than 16,000 customers with power outages in the Lower Mainland, down from 28,000 earlier in the morning.

Harbour Air cancelled flights out of its downtown Vancouver terminal, but says flights out of Richmond are operating normally.

The snow is expected to turn to rain at lower elevations later in the morning, so if you don't have to hit the roads this morning the best advice might be to stay home and wait.

But the rain in combination with melting snow could cause localized flooding today if culverts and catch basins are not kept clear.

Environment Canada lifted its snowfall warning for the Lower Mainland mid morning. Its forecast calls for rain and temperatures several degrees above zero for the rest of the week.

With files from CBC Radio One's The Early Edition.