Sledding at Jim Hadkiss Park in Maple Ridge on Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows schools closed for snow day

TransLink and transportation ministry issue weather advisories

Schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are closed today as snow again fell overnight, while traffic alerts are being issued.

Snowfall with total amounts of 10 to 15 cm more is expected in Metro Vancouver today, according to Environment Canada.

“A Pacific front will continue to give snow to Metro Vancouver and the western Fraser Valley this morning with total accumulations of 10 to 15 cm forecast. The snow is expected to ease late this morning as the front moves northward,” says an alert.

Winds are also expected and, with wind chill, temperatures could drop to minus-13 C.

Meadowridge School is also closed, as are post-secondary institutions in the region.

Schools in Mission, Abbotsford Surrey, North Vancouver and Chilliwack are also closed.

DriveBC has issued a travel advisory for Highway 1 in the Lower Mainland due to limited visibility and slippery conditions.

Travel is not recommended.

According to TransLink, bus service is experiencing delays in most areas due to inclement weather.

“Please allow extra travel time and bundle up in anticipation of delays. We continue to salt and sand bus loops, parking lots and SkyTrain stations. Please use caution and watch for ice.”

The inclement weather may also result in some crowding onboard trains and at SkyTrain stations, as was seen during afternoon rush hours, said Ben Murphy, with TransLink.

“Customers using the bus system are asked to check transit alerts before travelling. Some routes may be adjusted given road conditions and we do expect that there will be significantly longer travel times. HandyDART will be operating at essential service levels only until further notice.”

The Ministry of Transportation is advising motorists to avoid all but essential travel throughout the Metro Vancouver region today, including the Fraser Valley.

“Persistent snow, high winds and cold temperatures are causing poor road conditions. Those who must travel are asked to use extreme caution and drive to the conditions. The ministry advises travellers to expect winter conditions for the rest of the week.”

Motorists are also encouraged to plan ahead and drive according to weather and road conditions, slowing down when they encounter bad weather or limited visibility.

Winter tire regulations are in effect, and drivers are encouraged to get the best tires they can. People should ensure their vehicles have tires with the mountain or snowflake or mud-and-snow symbol when travelling on designated routes.

“Also, keep space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of yours so you can stop safely. Keep well back of all the winter maintenance equipment on highways so operators can perform their maintenance safely.”

Another two to four centimetres of snow is expected Wednesday night.

As many as 4,000 students were absent Monday as public schools remained open after a snow store Sunday evening, while a school bus crashed on the Golden Ears Bridge due to icy conditions.

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board meeting on Wednesday has been rescheduled for Jan. 22 “due to inclement weather.”

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