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Avalanche risk high in B.C., winter storm warning continues

Highway 1 is closed for two hours this morning as crews perform avalanche control.
Image Credit: Drive B.C. webcam
January 05, 2015 - 8:18 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A winter storm warning remains in place and avalanche risk has been elevated to high throughout the region, even below treeline levels, and a section of Highway 1 is closed as crews complete avalanche control in the area.

Environment Canada continues to issue a winter storm warning for much of the Southern Interior as a second system is expected to drop another 5 to 15 centimetres of snow later today. An intense storm brought heavy snow to the Interior yesterday and overnight but a break was expected this morning before the next system hits.

The weather office is warning that freezing rain could develop Tuesday as well, as the warming temperatures move into the valleys. It recommends drivers consider postponing all non-essential travel until conditions improve.

The warning includes the Nicola, South and North Thompson, Shuswap and the entire Okanagan, including highway passes on the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 1, Highway 3 and the Okanagan Connector. The highway passes will receive another 10 to 15 cm today as well as freezing rain. Total accumulations on the passes will range from 30 to 50 cm.

Avalanche Canada has also increased the risk rating at all elevations in the South Columbia and Kootenay Boundary ranges to high and above the treeline in the North Columbia range.  Heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected to develop new storm slabs in the regions and the high rating is expected to last at least through Tuesday. Several other ranges in Southern B.C. are also under a high risk rating.

Because of the high avalanche hazard, most of Highway 1 was closed in both directions between Craigellachie and Revelstoke for two hours this morning for avalanche control.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 11:59 a.m. to note that avalanche control was complete.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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