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Vancouver snow chaos: snowfall causing havoc on roads, buses stuck, traffic lights out

Click to play video: 'Snow piling up across the Lower Mainland'
Snow piling up across the Lower Mainland
Jennifer Palma is live from Vancouver where it is snowing very heavy this Friday afternoon. Along major routes, buses are stuck, there are multiple accidents and traffic lights are out – Feb 23, 2018

Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are sitting under a blanket of snow, amid a late season blast of winter weather.

And there’s more to come.

Vancouver snow chaos: snowfall causing havoc on roads, buses stuck, traffic lights out - image

Snowfall warnings remain in effect for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound (Sea to Sky) and the Sunshine Coast.

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By 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Environment Canada said that six to 15 centimetres had already fallen in areas of Metro Vancouver, and that another 10 centimetres was possible overnight.

WATCH: A first-hand look at a snowy afternoon commute

Click to play video: 'A first-hand look at a snowy afternoon commute'
A first-hand look at a snowy afternoon commute

“The snowfall will come in waves overnight with another 2-10 cm possible across Metro Vancouver. Some areas along the water may see a slight warm up and transition to wet snow,” said Global BC Meteorologist Kristi Gordon.

“The snow or wet snow across all of Metro Vancouver should finally come to an end by about 5 am.”

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Gordon said the snow should linger a little longer for the Fraser Valley through the morning hours, with between 10 and 20 centimetres possible, with accumulations higher the further east you go.

“The next system could move in as early as Saturday afternoon. Looks like Metro Vancouver will see just rain or wet snow but higher elevations will likely see some significant snowfall by Sunday morning. Stay tuned for a refined forecast,” Gordon said.

The heavy snow, which started around 8:35 a.m. has snarled traffic and led to multiple school closures, including classes at SFU and BCIT.

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On the roads, ploughs and salt trucks have been clearing priority routes across the region, but drivers are still facing delays and challenging conditions. You can get an updates on the traffic situation in your area here.

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WATCH: Heavy snowfall creates traffic chaos across Metro Vancouver suburbs

Click to play video: 'Heavy snowfall creates traffic chaos across Metro Vancouver suburbs.'
Heavy snowfall creates traffic chaos across Metro Vancouver suburbs.

On the Alex Fraser Bridge, the Ministry of Transportation gave its new collar chain system a test run in order to clear cables from snow and ice.

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Transit riders are also being reminded to give themselves extra time, with TransLink buses having trouble along multiple routes.

The Canada Line also saw service disruptions, leaving stations crowded in the early afternoon.

Follow TransLink for updates on bus and SkyTrain service.

There have also been multiple delays and cancellations at the YVR airport, and travellers should check on the status of their flights before heading there.

WATCH: Timelapse of snow-covered Vancouver streets

Click to play video: 'Timelapse of falling snow on Vancouver streets'
Timelapse of falling snow on Vancouver streets

The Vancouver Park Board closed the city’s seawall from Third Beach to the Lions Gate Bridge due to snow and ice, and says all playing fields will also be closed for the weekend.

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The City of Vancouver has also opened warming shelters at the Britannia and Carnegie Community centres and the Central Branch Library.

Extreme weather shelters have also been activated in a number of other communities.

Vancouver residents are being reminded to clear their walks, with city bylaws requiring snow removal to take place by 10 a.m. on Saturday.

 

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More to come…

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