British Columbia residents are being urged to prepare for extremely cold temperatures, power outages and slick streets as a series of winter storm and freezing rain warnings covered most of the province.
The B.C. government released a statement saying strong storms would clash with cold Arctic air throughout the province between Tuesday and New Year’s Day.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says it’s important to carefully watch the forecast and look out for those who are most vulnerable, while Transportation Minister Rob Fleming discouraged travel that isn’t necessary.
The province says planning ahead and driving according to road conditions is especially important as travel restrictions remain in place along sections of numerous highways damaged by severe flooding and landslides last month.
Warnings from Environment Canada cover much of the province, including the risk of freezing rain in Metro Vancouver and inland parts of Vancouver Island.
The weather office says high elevation sections of numerous highways could also see significant snowfall between Tuesday and Thursday.
That includes up 25 centimetres of snow on the Sea to Sky Highway, on Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton and up to 40 centimetres along stretches of the flood-damaged Coquihalla Highway, with the added risk of freezing rain.
In southeastern B.C., Environment Canada says Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass could see up to 70 centimetres of snow lasting until Thursday.
Snowfall accumulations between 10 and 25 centimetres were also expected along B.C.’s boundary with Alberta, extending to the Yellowhead Highway into the central and northern Interior and from the Peace River to the Bulkley Valley.
Inland parts of the North Coast, including Kitimat, Stewart and Terrace, were forecast to see between 15 and 20 centimetres of snow.
—The Canadian Press