Motorists stranded after snow storm closes Hope-Princeton Highway | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Motorists stranded after snow storm closes Hope-Princeton Highway

Allison Pass on Highway 3 this morning. The Hope-Princeton portion of Highway 3 shut down last night after more than 60 cm of snow fell on the roadway.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C.Highway cam
December 22, 2020 - 12:09 PM

Winter is back in a big way in many parts of the southern Interior and the Hope-Princeton Highway through Manning Park wasn’t spared during yesterday's snow storm.

Manning Park Resort marketing manager Emma Schram says the lodge’s parking lot was filled with travellers stranded by the heavy snow. More than 60 centimetres fell on Highway 3 in the vicinity of the resort about 66 kilometres east of Hope.

“The road crews couldn’t keep up with the snowfall. It wasn’t in good shape, so they closed the whole highway between Hope and Princeton,” she said today, Dec. 22.

The resort is pretty much the only stop on the highway between Hope and Princeton this time of year.

Many travellers on the highway stopped to wait out the storm at the resort.

“We assisted any way we could, providing food, water and letting people warm up," she said.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the busiest periods of the season for the resort.

“We were completely sold out of rooms because we had a lot of skiers who couldn’t go home, so they took the rooms that were left. It’s also Christmas time, so we were already pretty full,” Schram said, adding COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from allowing the travellers to congregate inside.

“If they weren’t registered guests, we unfortunately couldn’t host them,” she said.

Schram said the highway closed at around 10 p.m. yesterday and as of 11:30 a.m. today had not reopened. She said it did reopen in the westbound direction for a short period of time to allow those stranded to get out of Manning Park, but was not yet open to through traffic in either direction.

The resort lost power at one point but it has a backup generator. There is also a report of an avalanche coming down on the highway, and it knocked down some power poles.

Schram couldn’t estimate how many people were stranded last night, but one report on social media put the number at 50.

She says as of this morning, many took the opportunity to leave when the road partially opened, but some are sticking around.

“It’s sunny and beautiful up here today. A lot of motorists stayed to snowshoe or ski,” she says.

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