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Mother Nature torments Kelowna drivers

Anyone wondering what Monday's big news story would shape up to be needed to look no further than their nearest road.

As snow fell, area pavement iced over and cars started piling up in ditches. Road crews worked feverishly to catch up with Mother Nature and lay down a layer of de-icer and tow trucks were deployed. A number of local routes —such as Lakeshore, Boucherie, Swamp and Gordon roads—were even closed as that work commenced.

"Kelowna RCMP have been responding to motor vehicle crashes for the last few hours involving vehicles that have lost control,  gone off road or collided with another vehicle," said Sgt. Ann Morrison, in a 2 p.m. press release.

"Police are reminding motorists to be cautious and adjust their speed accordingly while driving on the roads as they are slippery during this time. It is also important to have the appropriate winter tires and equipment, including warm clothing."

Although the snow was blamed for wreaking havoc, freezing temperatures were a major contributor to the problems faced by motorists and pedestrians alike.

"An arctic front went through today when the snow came," said Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

By night's end, he predicted one more snow fall, but that's when it should stop.

"Now we'll get sun for a couple of days, but the cold is coming, too."

Starting Tuesday and carrying on through the weekend, Lundquist said Kelowna would face lows of -20C by the airport and -14C by the lake. The high would be somewhere in the area of -6C.

While some may curse winter's frigidity, it's been a long time coming.

Winter has stayed at bay so far this year, said Lundquist, noting that snowfall was far below average for November.

"We only had four centimetres in November, and usually we get 19," he said.

But, as for what's to come, he has no idea.

"Usually we rely on El Nino or La Nina to give us an idea," he said. "This year there's nothing, so we're calling it  la nada."

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