THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER — Freezing rain and heavy, wet snow from the latest winter storm to batter Vancouver Island and southern British Columbia has left more than 40,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark.
The utility has issued a release saying the hardest hit areas are Victoria, Courtenay and Duncan on Vancouver Island and Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Mission and Port Moody, east of Vancouver.
The outages mounted Thursday morning as snow, rain and freezing rain brought branches down and snapped power lines, while rain turned to ice on snow-coated roads through the regions, creating extremely hazardous driving conditions.
Drive BC says Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton and Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon south of Lytton have been closed indefinitely due to high avalanche hazard.
Travel on Highway 1 from Langley to Hope is not recommended because of freezing rain and pooling water, while a rainfall warning is now in effect for Metro Vancouver, with forecasters warning of heavy downpours, possible flash floods and localized flooding.
Environment Canada is also advising of hazardous conditions, including freezing rain, on the Sea-to-Sky Highway north to Whistler and snowfall or winter storm warnings are posted for a large area of central and southeastern B.C.