Commuter chaos in Lower Mainland, drivers urged to use caution or keep off the roads

Click to play video: 'Snowy conditions make for slow commute across pockets of Metro Vancouver'
Snowy conditions make for slow commute across pockets of Metro Vancouver
Falling snow is making for a terrible commute Thursday afternoon across large pockets of the Lower Mainland. The combination of the heavy, wet snow accumulating on the roads and heavy volume is making for a very slow drive. Troy Charles reports – Jan 11, 2024

A heap of snow, freezing temperatures and slick roads caused commuter chaos in the Lower Mainland on Thursday, with first responders reporting multiple accidents and stalls on the drive home from work.

“Stay home,” Burnaby Fire Capt. Satinder Mann told Global News at the site of a multiple-vehicle collision in Burnaby.

“Multiple incidents on-going (sic). Please avoid driving unless necessary,” added Vancouver Fire Rescue Services in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Drive slow, make sure your car is cleared and you have proper tires if driving.”

Click to play video: 'Snow stalls buses, causes crashes in Vancouver, North Vancouver'
Snow stalls buses, causes crashes in Vancouver, North Vancouver

Around 6:30 p.m., Richmond RCMP said about 17 cars were involved in a pile-up on Highway 91 eastbound between the S-curve and Westminster Highway.

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No injuries were reported, police said, but said the icy roads caused the collisions.

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Around 5 p.m., the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed the southbound counter-flow lane of the Massey Tunnel due to “extremely slippery conditions,” noting that multiple vehicles were struggling to keep traction on the road.

DriveBC said the lane reopened around 6:20 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon, DriveBC also reported accidents and stalled vehicles west of Hope, on an off-ramp of the Alex Fraser Bridge in Delta, on 104th Avenue in Surrey, and on the Mountain Highway and Lions Gate Bridge.

On social media, North Vancouver RCMP also urged anyone who must drive to take precautions, including clearing their vehicles of snow and debris, topping it up with windshield washing fluid, slowing down, and leaving plenty of distance.

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In Coquitlam, Global News learned some buses were unable to get through traffic and lines of transit commuters were told a bus might not arrive for an hour.

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