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Winter takes hold of BC

Staff writers

January 22, 2012 — It's been a week of wintery weather around Vancouver and Victoria, and there's more on the way.

Snow and wind warnings
Snow and wind warnings

British Columbia has seen its share of snow, rain and, at times, ice.

On January 9th, a system moved into the region, bringing blizzard-like conditions that reduced visibility and sent cars sliding off the road. At one point, the roadways became so bad that police had to stop tow companies from removing vehicles between Langley and Chilliwack until the conditions cleared. Some motorists were stranded as a result.

Even the city of Vancouver, which rarely sees flurries, has been faced with snow covered roads - and that has caught some drivers off guard. City cleanup crews were forced to postpone garbage pick-up in parts of the city due to slippery roads.

The same system affecting British Columbia on Monday also brought a blast of snow south of the border. Seattle has taken a big hit.

The lower mainland and Vancouver Island have also been blanketed in snow. All schools were closed in Greater Victoria and the Sooke area on January 11th due to a winter wallop, along with flight, bus and ferry disruptions.

The Weather Network's Natalie Thomas was reporting live from Abbotsford that day, and she said the blowing snow and windchill values hovering around -23°C had people talking.

“Every single person I spoke with said this was NOT normal,” she reported. “They said they only see it get this cold and snowy every couple of years.”

Slippery roads led to accidents in Langley
Slippery roads led to accidents in Langley

Vancouverites woke up to their first measurable snowfall of the season on January 14th. The city saw 2 cm of snow accumulation, while parts of the Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack, saw over 20 cm of snow pile up - which was enough to shut down schools in the area.

And the wintery weather hasn't stopped yet.

Between 10 and 20 cm fell across coastal BC Saturday evening, along with ice accumulation near Chilliwack. On Sunday, strong winds - with gusts up to 100 km/h - tore through exposed coastal regions and northern Vancouver Island.

Kitimat can expect to see up to 15 cm of snow Sunday night. Further inland, between 5 and 10 cm is in the forecast.

Be sure to check out the Alerts section of our website for the latest weather alerts in your area. We also encourage you to upload your snowy weather photos and videos to our gallery.

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