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Heavy snow blankets Victoria, BC


Tucker plays in the snow in Saanich, BC. Click on the photo for a closer look at the snowy conditions across Vancouver Island
Tucker plays in the snow in Saanich, BC. Click on the photo for a closer look at the snowy conditions across Vancouver Island

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

February 25, 2011 — Snow closed schools and caused traffic headaches in Victoria and throughout Vancouver Island on Wednesday morning.

Snowfall totals expected through Thursday
Snowfall totals expected through Thursday

People in Victoria, British Columbia woke up to a fresh layer of snow on their roofs, lawns and cars Wednesday morning.

A low pressure system rolled in off the Pacific making the usually “green” city look a little more like a winter wonderland. Officially, 6 cm of snow was recorded at the Victoria airport, but some communities saw well over 15 cm locally.

The wintery weather caused some traffic headaches throughout Vancouver Island Wednesday morning, with vehicles moving slowly and reports of some collisions. Some schools remained open, but many were closed in the Sooke and Victoria districts.

The onset of wintery weather in the region can catch people off guard. It prompted a police warning for drivers to take caution.

“We don't generally see a lot of snow. What we want to do is plan ahead,” says Jill Blacklock with the Insurance Corporation of B.C. “Give yourself more time to get where you're going. Plan your route and keep your distance between the vehicles around you as well.”

She adds that black ice can also come as a surprise to motorists.

“When the road conditions are icy or wet, you want to lay off the brake. You don't want to overuse the brake. The better option is to gear down and just not hit your brake because if you brake, you'll start to slide more and lose control,” says Blacklock.

Flowers across the region are covered in snow
Flowers across the region are covered in snow

Blooming flowers and signs of spring are more typical at this time of year, but the heavy snow may delay the 35th annual flower count that's set to start in Victoria on Tuesday.

The same system that affected Vancouver Island on Wednesday also brought snow to parts of British Columbia's Fraser Valley.

“The system brought the precipitation, and because we have an arctic high cooling temperatures down significantly, that precipitation fell as snow,” says Elena Grigorenko, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

While the snow is set to taper off, the frigid conditions will last through the weekend. Some places could even see record setting low temperatures.

To stay up-to-date on current weather conditions, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV, where your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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