UPDATE: Coquihalla Highway reopened after weather closure - InfoNews.ca

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UPDATE: Coquihalla Highway reopened after weather closure

Image Credit: @VSAMaintenance via Twitter
February 09, 2017 - 4:16 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Coquihalla Highway has been reopend as of 4 p.m. today, Feb. 9, after being closed due to freezing rain and accidents.

The main route from the interior to the coast has been reopend after highway crews cleared sections covered in snow and multiple vehicle incidents near Merritt.

VSA Highway Maintenance, the company which plows the Coquihalla, tweeted at around noon, today, Feb. 9, that freezing rain between Merritt and Hope has caused the closure of the main highway between the interior of B.C. and the coast. Drive B.C. also tweeted that the Coquihalla is closed due to multiple vehicle incidents south of Merritt.

Drive B.C. tweeted earlier that it may reopen around 4 p.m.

That means all major highways between the southern interior of B.C. and Lower Mainland were closed for a period of time today. Highways 1 and 3 are still closed due to avalanche risks.

Highway 1 is closed currently between Yale and Jackass Mountain with no estimated time of reopening as an avalanche assessment is ongoing, according to Drive B.C. Additionally, sections of the highways through the Fraser Valley may receive as much as 40 cm of snow, Environment Canada says. Freezing rain is also forecast for Hope.

Highway 3, between Hope and Princeton is also closed, due to an avalanche hazard, and also doesn't have an estimated time for reopening.

The northern root of Highway 99 is open to single lane alternating traffic near Lillooet, as well, according to Drive B.C.

Additionally, Environment Canada has a severe weather warning along the Coquihalla Highway, with up to 50 centimetres in some mountain passes, and is warning drivers to reconsider travel today. Drive B.C. is warning there may be accumulations in some areas as deep as 70 cm.

On many regional highways Drive B.C. is warning about compact snow causing slippery conditions and blowing snow causing visibility issues.

Travel east isn’t much better, with a warning from Drive B.C. for drivers on Highway 1 near Field for today due to snow accumulation on Highway 1. Planned avalanche control will also be taking place on the highways today east of Golden between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

On many regional highways Drive B.C. is warning about compact snow causing slippery conditions and blowing snow causing visibility issues.

Environment Canada is also forecasting 30 cm of snow today for most of southeastern B.C. and warns drivers travelling Highway 1 from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass on Highway 1. While there are no warnings currently for the Okanagan or Thompson regions, the Environment Canada predicted 30 cm of snow today for the Shuswap region.

Weather warnings for snowfall in the North Thompson and Shuswap areas were rescinded at 3:30 p.m. today, Feb. 9, though warnings contiune in many of the surrounding ares including Boundary, Similkameen and Arrow Lakes, along with high mountain passes.

There’s a high risk of avalanches in the Kootenay Boundary region east of Penticton and Kelowna and South Coast Inland region between Hope and Merritt. Areas east of Kamloops are at a ‘considerable’ risk level.

For current highway conditions, visit the DriveBC website.

— This story was updated at 10:40 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2017 to update conditions from Drive B.C. and alerts from Environment Canada.

— This story was updated at 12:20 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2017 to update conditions from Drive B.C., VSA Maintenance and to correct the location of alternating traffice on Highway 99.

— This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2017 to update conditions from Drive B.C. and alerts from Environment Canada.

— This story was updated at 4:10 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2017 to update conditions from Drive B.C.


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