Snow mayhem in Metro Vancouver leads to traffic mess

Snow led to commuter chaos Tuesday after flurries fell overnight in Metro Vancouver and continue to fall throughout the morning.

Spun-out vehicles have been reported along several major routes, including Highway 99 at Westminster Highway, 16 Avenue in Surrey near 200th, and in Burnaby on Highway 1.

For SFU students, the 144 bus has been detoured.

“144 SFU detour beginning at 7:12 AM. Regular route to to terminate at Hastings & Duthie. 144 Metrotown detour: Service is starting from Hastings & Duthie then via regular route due to road conditions,” TransLink wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

SFU announced early Tuesday that classes would be cancelled until 10 am. Online classes are not impacted.

As of 8:00 am Tuesday, BCIT and UBC have announced that their schools are open and classes are on as scheduled.

Meanwhile, for those on Highway 99, the counter flow is now in effect after a lengthy and frustrating delay for commuters.

The chaos comes following a big snowfall over the weekend, which left some areas with about a foot of snow.

While Tuesday’s temperature remains near freezing, there was some concern that the warmup on Monday would leave many roads, highways, and sidewalks very icy.

Luckily, conditions allowed the Alex Fraser Bridge to remain partially open as of 7:30 am Tuesday. The bridge, along with the Port Mann Bridge, has been susceptible to ice bombs and has been closed throughout several snow storms in years past due to safety concerns.

Both bridges have some lane closures in effect.

On Vancouver Island, the snowfall is so significant that it’s being blamed on a power outage that has knocked out the cameras for the Malahat Highway in some parts, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

A snowfall warning remains in place, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, with 5 to 15 cm expected by Tuesday afternoon.

“An area of low pressure will continue to move across the south coast today…This will have a significant impact on the morning commute due to rapidly accumulating snow and slippery road conditions,” the ECCC warning reads in part.

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This is a developing story. 

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Written by Cam Smash

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