After heavy snowfall, the rain takes over; ferry crossings canceled due to winds

Environment Canada issued a wind warning: 70 km / h gusting to 90 from Friday morning, continuing until early afternoon

The snow that blanketed the island Thursday morning was expected to turn to rain overnight, but the headaches are not over as the area braces for another round of cold and high winds.

A wind warning was up for the Grand Victoria Friday morning, but all the others Environment Canada weather alerts because the island was finished.

BC Ferries has canceled several crossings between Vancouver Island and the mainland Friday due to high winds. At 10:50 am, 21 departures had been affected.

Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said temperatures are set to drop again, “so whatever is left on the ground and all that moisture will refreeze, or at least pockets will refreeze.”

This could make driving conditions difficult, said Castellan.

Snow accumulations were significant, with 21 centimeters of fall Thursday at Victoria International Airport setting a record for this site, surpassing the previous January 6 record of 12.2 cm set in 1953.

In total, the storm brought 28 cm of snow. Combined with the snowfall total for December 2021, there has been just over 50cm in the past five weeks.

On Thursday afternoon, Island Health sent “a heartfelt thank you” to the Van Isle 4×4 Club, Victoria HarbourCats, taxis and various neighbors for helping staff work through the difficult conditions.

The Greater Victoria, Saanich and Sooke school districts are all closed for the day, although schools across the province are closed to most students until Monday. A small number of children with special needs and children of essential workers were allowed to attend this week.

Schools have also been closed in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District and the City of Nanaimo has closed all city facilities. Schools reopened on Friday and buses were running, the district said.

The University of Victoria, Camosun College and the University of Vancouver Island also closed, with the VIU shutdown affecting facilities in Nanaimo, Duncan, Parksville and Powell River.

Nearly 20,000 BC Hydro customers on the island were without power as of Thursday morning. As of late afternoon, about 6,200 people on the South Island and about 3,900 on the North Island were without power.

BC Hydro said there was “significant damage” to the power line serving Tahsis and Zeballos. An aerial assessment was carried out on Wednesday, but heavy snowfall overnight limited the ability of workers to access the area. Work was to continue “over the next two days”.

Customers on Quadra Island and Cortes Island were also left without power overnight, with crews scheduled to be on the first ferry on Friday morning.

As of Friday morning, 3,849 customers from the North Island and 728 from the South Island were without electricity, according to the BC Hydro outage list.

BC Ferries faced weather-related issues on a number of routes Thursday, spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said.

“We had teams who had problems accessing the terminal via the road network or we had delays because we had snow removal problems in certain terminals. “

This resulted in the cancellation of the 7am ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, as well as the 9am Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry, as well as the first round trip of the day from Duke Point.

The Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay ferry did not operate and some crossings between Crofton and Vesuvius were canceled.

The vast majority of trips were on schedule at noon.

BC Transit delayed bus service until 7 a.m. due to road conditions, then began adding routes as the day wore on and had 19 routes in service at the start of the day. ‘afternoon. This covered the University of Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula, the west coast and the central regions. Later Thursday afternoon, however, a number of routes were canceled for the remainder of the day. Friday, BC Transit said most routes reverted to a regular route.

At Victoria International Airport, weather conditions affected a number of flights. People were advised to check the status of flights before going to the airport.

Poor road conditions have affected garbage collection in some areas. The Township of Esquimalt said canceled and missed residences will have their trash picked up today, while Oak Bay picks up trash but not organics or recycling.

Organics pickup in Oak Bay has been postponed to Saturday, and recycling can be kept until the next pickup day scheduled by residents or dropped off in the Elgin Road municipal yard.

The capital regional district’s blue box recycling collection has also been canceled.

Saanich police warned of the harsh road conditions and advised people to stay in their homes if they did not need to be on the roads. Const. Saanich Police Station. Markus Anastasiades said the most important thing when driving on snow-covered roads is to allow extra stopping distance when approaching intersections or other vehicles.

ICBC said crashes on Vancouver Island related to driving too fast for road conditions were up 65% in January from September – about 56 incidents compared to 34. Slow down and allow more time to travel when driving in bad weather, said ICBC.

“The key to winter driving is to be slow and steady,” the company said. “Avoid sudden, unexpected movements that could cause you to slip. “

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