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Hazardous winter driving conditions forecast for multiple portions of Highway 3

Click to play video: 'Survivors of fatal B.C. bus rollover question why highway wasn’t closed'
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Two men who survived a deadly Christmas Eve bus rollover on the Okanagan Connector are sharing their harrowing ordeal. Like many others, the pair booked a road trip after their flights were cancelled during last week's winter weather chaos but as Kristen Robinson reports, they're now wondering why the highway wasn't closed in such icy conditions – Dec 26, 2022

Many poor weather warnings for B.C.’s Southern Interior have been lifted, but those travelling on Highway 3 are still facing hazardous conditions, Environment Canada says.

West Kootenay and Highway 3, from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass, is under a winter storm warning for the remainder of Tuesday.

The national weather agency said there will be periods of snow mixed with freezing rain or ice pellets. resulting in challenging travel conditions.

“Heavy snow will continue today as another weather system arrives. For Boundary and West Kootenay, total snowfall accumulations near 15 to 25 centimetres can be expected before the snow changes to rain this afternoon,” Environment Canada said.

Read more: Several Southern Interior highways closed due to avalanche risk: DriveBC

“Also, a risk of freezing rain is possible as the snow transitions to rain. For Highway 3, Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass, snow will persist tonight with accumulations in excess of 30 cm.”

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Later, much of that route will be closed.

Starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, there will be avalanche control work planned between West Avalanche Gate and East Avalanche Gate for 18 kilometres along Kootenay Pass.

That work will continue and the road will be closed on Wednesday at 2 a.m.

Click to play video: 'Freezing rain prompts warning for Interior highways'
Freezing rain prompts warning for Interior highways

An alternate route available from Nelson to Creston; Highway 3A, Kootenay Lake Ferry, and the estimated travel time  is 2.5 hours.

There’s also travel advisory in effect for other segments of Highway 3, between Hope and Hedley. Drive BC said that heavy snow or freezing rain developing through the region.

“Travellers should expect rapidly deteriorating conditions, and consider changing travel plans, and be prepared for closures on short notice,” reads the alert. “Travel is not recommended unless essential.”

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A stretch of the road near Osoyoos, five kilometres west of Curzon Junction to 19 km east of Osoyoos, is also experiencing freezing rain and travel is not recommended.

 

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