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UPDATE: Coquihalla to reopen this evening, heavy snow forecast

Avalanche clean up is underway on the Coquihalla Highway after controlled avalanches were triggered earlier today.
Image Credit: tranbc.ca
February 19, 2014 - 8:55 AM

UPDATE: 5:10 p.m. Feb. 19

The Coquihalla Highway is expected to reopen between 7-8 p.m. as crews continue clean up follwing avalanche control measures taken earlier today. Environment Canada has also issued a special weather statement warning of heavy snowfall for interior highways with the heaviest, about 10-20 cm, expected to fall at the Coquihalla Summit by Thursday morning before easing to flurries over the rest of the day.

UPDATE: 3:25 p.m. Feb. 19

Crews continue to work on avalanche control clean up on the Coquihalla Highway, which is now expected to open between 6-8 p.m. Snow has begun falling in the region, with 5 cm already having fallen since 6 a.m. Another 10-15 cm is expected at the summit tonight as another system starts to move into the region.

UPDATE: 1:24 p.m. Feb. 19

Avalanche control and assessment is taking a bit longer than expected on the Coquihalla Highway today, the highway is now expected to only reopen between 5-8 p.m. Avalanche control on Highway 1 is completed and other than minor delays near Salmon Arm remains completely open.

UPDATE: 11:06 a.m. Feb. 19

Highway 1 near Ashcroft has reopend as has the highway between Revelstoke and Craigellachie. A collision just west of Salmon Arm is causing 30 minute delays on Highway 1 and avalanche control was the highway closed between Field and the Alberta border.

UPDATE: 9:33 a.m. Feb. 19

It looks like it will take crews a little longer to get the Coquihalla Highway open for business. Drive B.C. has changed the anticipated reopening time to between 1 p.m. -5 p.m., pushed from an earlier estimate of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A section of the Coquihalla Highway remains closed this morning following an avalanche Tuesday evening.

Highway 5 is closed in both directions from Hope to Merritt for avalanche control and assessment, according to Drive B.C.

Drive B.C. expects the road to reopen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today, and is posting updates every few hours.

The Trans-Canada Highway is closed in both directions from Craigellachie to Revelstoke because of high avalanche risk. No detour is available though the road is expected to open again around 9:30 a.m. Further up the highway near Roger's Pass, Highway 1 is closed for avalanche control. Expect delays of 2-4 hours.

A vehicle accident is clogging the Trans-Canada Highway 20 km west of Ashcroft. Traffic is reduced to one lane. 

The Coquihalla received more than 200 cm of snow in the past week, and more is on the way tonight. Environment Canada is predicting about 5 cm today and 10-15 cm tonight and another weather system to blow into the region Thursday. While February has been wetter than normal Doug Lundquist of Environment Canada says it is still typical of winter weather. After the Thursday system a little blast of Arctic air will hit and then it should warm, and dry, up.

"Be cautious for travel the next few days," Lundquist says. "We have a few more days of inclement weather, particularly at the higher elevations."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

-This story was updated at 11:06 a.m., Feb. 19, 2014 to include quotes.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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