A major snowfall in southern British Columbia last week led to a 94% increase in claims compared to the week prior, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) reported. And with more snow being forecast today, drivers should prepare for more adverse road conditions.
ICBC reportedly had 3,567 claims on Nov. 29, compared to 1,837 claims Tuesday the week prior. Heavy snowfall across Metro Vancouver had cars sliding across the road from icy conditions and commuters getting stuck for hours on The Alex Fraser Bridge. The route was shut down in both directions after multiple buses and semi-trucks lost traction, leaving tow trucks and snowplows unable to get through.
The snowstorm caused about 93,000 BC Hydro customers to lose power within 24 hours, the utilities company said in a press release.
“The snow weighed down trees and branches, many already weakened by a series of fall windstorms, causing them to contact BC Hydro’s electrical equipment. Unlike a windstorm, snowstorms can often mean large but slower-paced outages as snow takes time to accumulate on vegetation. That is why outage numbers spiked after the storm seemed to have passed in some areas,” BC Hydro reported.
The province is set to see more of these snowy conditions this week. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued a snowfall warning today for the Sea to Sky highway between Squamish and Whistler today through Thursday. Between 10 and 20 cm of snow is expected to fall.
ECCC also issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, Haida Gwaii and B.C.’s Southern Gulf Islands. It warned “loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.”
A man pauses while digging out snow from under a car stuck on a street in the aftermath of a snowstorm, in Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Delta Mayor George Harvie describes the response to heavy snowfall in the region last week as a “recent failure of provincial highway winter maintenance.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck