British Columbia

Coquihalla Highway reopened after closure for avalanche control

Winter weather warnings have been lifted for much of southern B.C. after lingering over the province for much of the week.

Portions of highways 1 and 3 remain under winter-storm warnings Wednesday, after week of wild weather

A snowplow drives along Highway 5 in B.C. Previous weather warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, a portion of Highway 5, have been lifted Wednesday but the mountain pass will be closed for several hours for planned avalanche control. (Argo Roads Thompson/Twitter)

The Coquihalla Highway has reopened after being closed for hours Wednesday for avalanche control work, in the aftermath of a storm that has lingered over southern B.C. for most of the past week.

Weather warnings have been lifted for much of the province's southern regions, though winter-storm warnings are still in effect for mountain passes on highways 1 and 3.

There are no longer any alerts in effect for the Coquihalla, but the stretch linking Hope and Merritt, B.C., will be shut down between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT to address the risk from the heavy snowfall in recent days.

Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 is also closed for avalanche control, with an estimated reopening of 6 p.m. PT, according to DriveBC. 

Earlier Wednesday, stretches of Highway 1 east and west of Revelstoke were closed due to the high avalanche risk, DriveBC said, but the routes have since reopened.

Previous weather warnings this week have covered a stretch of the province from Vancouver Island to the Elk Valley. The advisories were lifted by Wednesday morning.

Bitter weather across B.C. since New Year's Eve has knocked out power to more than 160,000 people and killed at least three people in avalanches.

Drivers are reminded to slow down and drive for the conditions if they must travel through a winter storm. Non-essential travel is not recommended, the weather agency has said.

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