Lower Mainland residents are waking up to slippery roads and school closures, following a chaotic night of car crashes, multi-hour commutes and power outages during the first real snow storm of the season.
School districts in Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Abbotsford and Maple Ridge have told students to stay home and enjoy a snow day, amounting to the closure of about 151 schools.
Student and staff safety is paramount. Due to very icy road conditions, we have determined that schools will be closed for students and staff today, Wednesday, November 30, 2022. All Rentals, Community Schools and Daycares are also closed. pic.twitter.com/2aROHyenuN— Chilliwack Sch.Dist. (@ChilliwackSD33) November 30, 2022
Students at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus have also been told to avoid the roads. UBC said classes scheduled before 1 p.m. won’t run, while SFU said classes are cancelled for the entire day. Its Vancouver and Surrey campuses remain open, however.
Khalsa Schools of BC has also decided to close its four locations throughout the Lower Mainland.
SFU’s Burnaby campus is closed today, November 30, until 10:30am due to current campus road conditions. Vancouver & Surrey campuses remain open and all online classes will proceed as scheduled. Updates will be shared on https://t.co/7ZyMtyknHt and here on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/AMoDNBNwC0— Simon Fraser University (@SFU) November 30, 2022
Road conditions remain poor Wednesday morning, with DriveBC reporting crashes and stuck vehicles throughout the region, particularly along the Trans Canada Highway. A stalled vehicle southbound on the Alex Fraser Bridge has been cleared, while a crash on the Port Mann Bridge is still holding up traffic as of about 8:45 a.m.
Tuesday afternoon and evening, drivers reported commutes as long as 12 hours, as multi-car pileups closed major highways. At the Vancouver International Airport, the slippery conditions even sent a plane off the taxiway.
Power has been restored to the majority of Lower Mainland residents who lost it overnight Tuesday, but some 4,700 are still in the dark Wednesday morning, according to BC Hydro’s 6:30 a.m. update. The largest outages remain in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Vancouver. A few dozen people are also without power in Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby and Langley.
Across the south coast, about 50,000 people lost power in total as a result of the storm.