3 BC Highways Closed Due To Snowstorm And Vehicle Incidents Over Holiday Break

Up to 80 cm of snow is expected.
BC Highways Closed Due To Snow And Vehicle Incidents Over Holiday Break

If you can, you might want to hold off on your holiday travel. Or at least take extra special precautions. According to DriveBC, several B.C. highways are closed throughout the province. The closures were announced at around 8 a.m. on Friday, December 20, 2019. The shutdown routes stem from a large accumulation of snowfall. 

Highways 3, 5, and 1 are currently closed in B.C. just in time for everyone to embark on their holiday travels. It's been reported that there has already been one fatality due to a pre-Christmas collision. 

According to DriveBC, Highway 5, also known as the Coquihalla Highway, is closed. The Coquihalla is an extremely popular route that connects travellers to the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland. 

On Friday morning, three hours after the northbound lane reopened, the highway closed yet again. 

DriveBC has stated that this closure is due to both a “vehicle incident and weather conditions.” 

The vehicle incident took place between Hope and Merritt. While the assessment is still in progress, the estimated time of reopening is not available. 

The travel advisory along this stretch of highway is calling for limited visibility with snow. 

"Extreme blowing snow occurring & expected to continue through day with 70-80cm of additional snow expected,” writes DriveBC. Travellers are expected to encounter delays and closures throughout the day while crews work to clear the snow.

Along with Highway 5, Highway 1 is also closed between Revelstoke and Golden. This closure is due to avalanche control on the highway. 

As a result, the highway will be closed until 1 p.m. today. There are no detours available at the moment, so if you're travelling throughout the region, you may have to wait it out.

Highway 3 is also closed for 4.5 kilometres due to another vehicle incident between Allison Pass Summit and Manning Park Resort. 

Assessment is in progress for this stretch of highway but no opening time has been given. 

DriveBC is stating that there is a detour through Highway 1 or Highway 5A.

Environment Canada has issued several winter storm and snowfall warnings for 16 areas in the province. Some warnings are calling for up to 60 centimetres of snow by Saturday afternoon.

Environment Canada is also calling for “hazardous winter conditions” along Highway 3 and the Coquihalla Highway. 

The following areas have been issued warnings:

  • Arrow Lakes - Slocan Lake
  • Boundary
  • East Columbia 
  • Elk Valley 
  • Fraser Canyon 
  • Fraser Valley 
  • Kinbasket
  • Kootenay Lake 
  • Nicola
  • North Columbia 
  • Okanagan Valley 
  • Shuswap
  • Similkameen 
  • West Columbia 
  • West Kootenay 
  • Yoho Park - Kootenay Park

DriveBC is not recommending travel on Highway 5 unless absolutely necessary. Environment Canada has stated that "weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions."

If you must travel, be sure to check DriveBC before you head out. 

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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