Wednesday August 27, 2014

Heavy snowfall closes routes to Vancouver

VSA Maintenance

Crews work on clearing snow on the Coquihalla Highway.

Anyone thinking about travelling by highway to Vancouver from Kamloops on Wednesday morning had to wait. All three routes out of Hope to the Interior were closed due to heavy snowfall and the high risk of avalanches.

The Coquihalla Highway was closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt and Highway 1 was closed in both directions in the Fraser Canyon at Jackass Mountain Summit. Highway 3 was closed from Hope to Allison Pass in both directions, but re-opened from Hope to Princeton at about 10:30 a.m.

The Coquihalla was re-opened at 1 p.m. Drivers were warned to expect delays due to congestion.

The Fraser Canyon was re-opened at about 4 p.m.

About 120 trucks were stuck overnight at the Flying J truck stop east of Kamloops, manager Eric Garrett said Wednesday.

Most were waiting for conditions to improve, but some opted to head north on Highway 5, he said.

"I think this is the worst," he said of the number of stranded trucks.

At total of 75 centimetres of snow fell over the Coquihalla summit between noon Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 a.m. Another 30 cm is expected through the day.

There were also closures on Highway 1 in the Revelstoke and Golden areas for avalanche control, with delays of two to four hours.

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