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Travel advisory lifted after 42 cm of snow falls on the Coquihalla Summit

Click to play video 'High risk of avalanche for B.C. mountains' High risk of avalanche for B.C. mountains
Ilya Storm, from Avalanche Canada, provides an update on the avalanche risk and dangerous conditions for parts of BC's backcountry. – Jan 2, 2021

B.C.’s Coquihalla Summit was hammered by a winter storm on Saturday night, prompting a travel advisory, avalanche control, and several motor vehicle accidents.

Environment Canada meteorologist Gary Dickinson said Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt received a whopping 42 cm of snow between Saturday and Sunday morning.

Read more: Winter storm warnings issued for Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 3 in southeast B.C.

“Freezing levels were around 1,200 metres so the peaks were getting the brunt of the snowfall,” he said.

Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass received 15 cm of snow, while 14 cm fell at Allison Pass.

The icy and hazardous conditions prompted B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation to issue a highway travel advisory on the Coquihalla at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The advisory was lifted at around 1 a.m.

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Crews also completed avalanche control work at the summit between Hope and Merritt. Traffic was stopped periodically and motorists experienced delays.

Several vehicle incidents were also reported due to poor weather conditions.

Read more: Flood worries as rain pounds B.C.’s South Coast

Avalanche control work was also done at Kootenay Pass and Highway 1 near Glacier National Park.

Click to play video 'Winter storm slams into B.C.' Winter storm slams into B.C.
Winter storm slams into B.C – Dec 21, 2020

In the Cariboo, a rockslide was reported 11 km north of Lillooet on Highway 99, and traffic was reduced to a single lane, as of Sunday morning.

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While the winter storm warnings for highway mountain passes in B.C.’s Southern Interior have been lifted, the region isn’t out of the woods yet.

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A weather reprieve came on Sunday, but officials said residents and commuters should expect another weather system to roll through on Sunday night into Monday morning, bringing additional snowfall.

The snow will change to rain by Monday afternoon, Dickinson said.

“When that changeover occurs, we will see about five centimetres on the ground by the afternoon.”

Click to play video 'Ice bombs damage multiple vehicles on Port Mann bridge' Ice bombs damage multiple vehicles on Port Mann bridge
Ice bombs damage multiple vehicles on Port Mann bridge – Dec 22, 2020

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