A snow covered-Inland Island Highway in Campbell River (Emily Bohn, Facebook)
SAT., JAN. 23rd UPDATE: A SNOWFALL WARNING is now in effect for the Comox Valley.
Get that shovel out, we’re in for some snow this weekend.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for East Vancouver Island, from Courtenay to Campbell River, Duncan to Nanaimo, and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.
It says snow is expected tomorrow night and Sunday morning for the Central Coast, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland.
“A cool air mass and low-pressure system will slide along coastal B.C. on Saturday. Snow is forecasted to begin Saturday night and continue into Sunday,” the weather agency says, adding that by Sunday afternoon, snow will become mixed with rain in many areas.
Potential snowfall accumulation varies from 2 to 5 cm for most of the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast, inland sections of western Vancouver Island, and for Central Coast – Coastal Sections.
Meanwhile, eastern and inland areas of Vancouver Island are most likely to see the highest amounts of snow, with accumulations from 5 to 15 cm, especially above 200 metres; this includes the Malahat Highway.
With a special weather statement, comes a warning to drivers.
Mainroad’s general manager for the North Island, Chris Cowley, says his crews are geared up and ready to go.
“This weekend, we’re expecting the first real snowfall of the season,” he says. “For those of us who have lived in this area for a while, we know that the forecast can fluctuate quite drastically as it approaches.”
If you’ve been out and about recently, Crowley says you may have noticed Mainroad crews applying liquid brine around town. This is all in an effort to prevent icy roads, giving “plow trucks the time to get it off the road before it does create a hazardous condition.”
If you have to leave home this weekend, Crowley’s urging you to drive with caution and to give yourself some extra time to reach your destination.
“If you see our Mainroad crews out working, please slow down and give us extra space. The road is always better behind them than in front of them.”
However, much like any regulation out on the roadway, Crowley adds that there are those who don’t abide by them.
“We can’t enforce enough that it is an extremely dangerous proposition. With the way the plows are set up, they’re usually plowing in not the best visibility, so you can’t necessarily see the extent of it,” he says.
“To come into contact with a plow is never going to end up good for a vehicle, it’s very unsafe and can also prevent the plow from doing its job further down the road.”
Mainroad’s dispatch office is always taking calls, so if you notice any issues on the road this weekend, don’t hesitate to call. As always, you’re reminded to visit DriveBC’s website for the latest road conditions.