Heavy wet snow has blanked much of the southern coast of BC and Vancouver Island. At any kind of elevation there is at least a few feet of snow pack with some areas showing may 6 feet of snow. More snow is in the forecast suggesting the roads will be treacherous. Saturday looks like heavy rain so the snow will be gone quick.

Saanich hasabout 6-12 inches that gets removed when the snow turns to rain. Higher elevations however are not so lucky with upwards of 2 feet. Schools are closed due to the impassable streets.

  • Greater Victoria School District
  • Saanich School District
  • Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District
  • Sooke School District
  • Campbell River School District
  • Qualicum School District
  • Alberni School District
  • Comox Valley School District
  • Cowichan Valley School District
  • All Vancouver Island Catholic Schools

Many universities, including the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Vancouver Island University also closed their campuses Thursday due to the winter storm. Ferry and bus cancellations are also widespread.

The weight pulled trees down and some knocked down power lines causing a lot of blackouts. The snow prevents any fires from the damage. Wet snow is very heavy which is why trees break with the heavy snows. Dry powdered snow is lighter and does not put nearly as much weight on trees.

BC Hydro has dispatched crews to fix all of the outages but the roads are also loaded with snow making progress slow. There are several dozen outages all over Vancouver Island. Hydro said most of the problems can be fixed quickly but some areas have transmission line problems that will take more time.

At present the weather has moved south but it can move back very quickly. The very cold weather has also forced public services to provide emergency services to many properly.

Driving is treacherous with ice under the snow making studs and chains mandatory. It’s also advisable to use 35″ ties with a 6″ lift lit installed to be able to get through. The winch is almost a necessity.

Local snow is about 6-12 inches depending on the elevation