British Columbia

Warnings in effect for southern B.C. highways as wintry conditions continue

DriveBC is warning that heavy snowfall is expected to continue throughout Saturday on many southern B.C. routes, and is advising motorists to consider alternate travel plans when possible.

Warnings are posted for Highways 1, 3, 5A, and 97C

A worker controls single-lane alternating traffic at the Paulson Summit on Highway 3 between Castlegar and Grand Forks, B.C. (Lisa Johnson/CBC)

DriveBC is warning that heavy snowfall is expected to continue throughout Saturday on many southern B.C. routes, and is advising motorists to consider alternate travel plans when possible.

The emergency message, posted on DriveBC's website, warns of conditions on Highways 1, 3, 5A, and 97C.

Several major incidents are listed for Highway 1 in both directions, with drivers being warned of potential delays and possible avalanche control between Eagle Pass and Rogers Pass.

The Coquihalla Highway, a portion of Highway 5, has re-opened southbound between Hope and Merritt, with road conditions being described as "compact snow" with "slushy and slippery sections." A travel advisory for the highway was lifted on Saturday afternoon, but drivers are still advised to use "extreme caution."

Road conditions and closures are subject to frequent change, and motorists are being advised to check DriveBC road reports for minute-to-minute updates.

Hazardous driving conditions

Environment Canada says a steady feed of moisture streaming into the southern Interior is bringing copious amounts of snow to many highway passes, and warned that weather in mountain regions can change suddenly and cause hazardous driving conditions.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a written statement that more that 120 centimetres of snow has fallen on the Coquihalla Highway since Thursday evening, and urged people to drive with caution or to delay travel plans.

Highway 5, southbound at the Zopkios Rest Area, near the Coquihalla Summit. (DriveBC)

"We urge people to plan ahead, slow down and drive to the conditions. While this is the final travel weekend before the holidays, drivers may want to consider altering travel plans until more favourable weather and road conditions are available," the statement read in part.

Drivers are also advised to bring warm winter clothing, ensure gas tanks and windshield fluid reservoirs are full, and carry an emergency kit. 

On Friday all three major highways linking the Lower Mainland and the B.C. Interior were shut down in some way, with the fresh snow creating conditions so treacherous that drivers were advised to stay home if they could.

Watch truck drivers near Hope B.C. talk about conditions on the Coquihalla Highway:

'Just one slip and you're stuck'

2 years ago
Duration 1:30
Truck drivers near Hope B.C. talk about the treacherous conditions on the Coquihalla Highway.

Click here for a full list of warnings and road conditions.

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