Jan. 14, 2020 – Victoria residents are bundled up as more snow falls across the region. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Snowstorm 2020: The latest on weather, travel and schools

Greater Victoria saw up to 30 centimetres of snow

Winter alerts are still in effect for Greater Victoria Wednesday evening after the region received a 30 centimetre dumping of snow the night before.

Here’s what you need to know about the snowstorm and what’s to come.

Weather

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria as of 1 p.m. Wednesday. Environment Canada said strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.

The national weather service said a deep, low pressure system is expected to cross Vancouver Island Wednesday night. Southeast winds of 70 to 90 km/h are expected to develop ahead of the low in Greater Victoria and spread to the rest of the south coast later in the evening.

Winds are expected to abruptly shift to the southwest overnight or Thursday morning in the wake of low, gusty winds, according to Environment Canada. Winds are expected to ease Thursday morning.

READ ALSO: Public asked to call 811 in non-medical emergencies due to ‘significant’ increase in emergency calls

Damage to buildings, such as roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds can also toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break. Environment Canada said motorists should be prepared to adjust driving with changing road conditions.

A snowfall warning is also in effect for the Malahat Highway from Goldstream to Mill Bay. Environment Canada said snow from an approaching low pressure system will intensify Wednesday night but snow near sea level is expected to change to rain as temperatures rise. Accumulations of five to 15 centimetres of snow can be expected before the snow changes to rain.

Head to Environment Canada’s website for updates.

READ ALSO: Victoria snowfall breaks 49-year-old record; wind warnings in effect

READ ALSO: CRD cancels recycling collection throughout Greater Victoria

Roads and Travel

A jackknifed semi truck reportedly had southbound lanes and one northbound lane on the Trans-Canada Highway just north of Goldstream Provincial Park closed Wednesday afternoon. The scene was cleared by 3 p.m.

Motorists are being advised to avoid all but essential travel after an advisory was extended to include the Trans-Canada Highway. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure cautioned motorists to expect winter conditions for the rest of the week.

Victoria police are asking motorists to slow down and not slam on the brakes if things start to get slippery. If a collision occurs, police are reminding motorists they have legal obligations under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Most ferries were cancelled beginning at 3 p.m on Wednesday, BC Transit faced detours and cancellations and some flights leaving Victoria International Airport were also cancelled.

Follow Drive BC, BC Ferries, BC Transit, Victoria International Airport and Emcon Services Inc. online for updates.

READ ALSO: Saanich firetruck gets stuck in snow for two hours

READ ALSO: Many Victoria businesses remain closed due to snow

Schools

It was a snow day for students across Greater Victoria as schools announced closures Tuesday night. The Sooke School District, Saanich School District and Greater Victoria School District closed Wednesday due to heavy snow, unsafe road conditions and power outages. Royal Roads University also closed campus Wednesday morning and all day and evening classes at Camosun College’s two campuses were cancelled. The University of Victoria also cancelled classes Wednesday.

Stay up-to-date about closures by following school district, university and college websites and Facebook pages.

READ ALSO: Snow day for Greater Victoria students

READ ALSO: Most BC Ferries sailings cancelled beginning Wednesday afternoon

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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