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Highway 3 opens between Metro Vancouver and Southern Interior

ABOVE: Hundreds of people have been stranded in their cars overnight after freezing rain forced the closure of several major B.C. highways, including the Coquihalla. Jordan Armstrong reports.

Major highways between Metro Vancouver and the Southern Interior are starting to open Friday after being closed Thursday afternoon and overnight.

Highway 3 has been opened between Hope and Manning Park, meaning motorists can now get to the Interior. However, expect heavy delays along that stretch.

Around 11 p.m. Highway 99 south of Lillooet was also reopened to traffic.

Freezing rain, heavy snow and avalanche hazards forced crews to shut down the roads on Thursday.

After the Coquihalla Highway closed for the second time on Thursday, from Hope to Merritt, hundreds of people were forced to spend the night in their cars as they had nowhere else to go.

WATCH: Truck driver Marvin Shemilt talks with Global’s Jordan Armstrong about the conditions on the Coquihalla Highway following a blast of freezing rain which closed the highway.

EXTENDED: Truck driver shares his personal story of being stranded on BC highway following storm
EXTENDED: Truck driver shares his personal story of being stranded on BC highway following storm

Along with the Coquihalla, Highways 1 and 5A are still closed.

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B.C. South Coast and Interior region

  • Highway 1: Closed in both directions between Yale and Jackass Mountain due to avalanche hazard. No estimated time of opening;
  • Highway 1: Closed in both directions between Jackass Mountain summit to junction with Highway 12 because of avalanche hazard. No estimated time of re-opening;
  • Highway 5A: Closed in both directions 27 km north of Princeton due to avalanche control. No estimated time of re-opening;

South-East B.C.

  • Highway 1: Closed in both directions at Glacier National Park between 10 p.m. on Thursday to 11:30 a.m. on Friday due to avalanche control.

The problems follow a severe storm that swept across Southern B.C. on Thursday, prompting an Avalanche Canada advisory urging backcountry users to avoid heading out this weekend, or to ensure they have advanced avalanche training and equipment.

Meanwhile, ICBC is warning people with long weekend travel plans to be careful in the winter conditions.

The insurance corporation says during the family day weekend last year, there were more than 2,000 crashes.

At least 500 people were injured.

Drivers are being urged to ensure their cars are winter ready, know their routes and adjust to the driving conditions.

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-With files from The Canadian Press