Winter arrives: Snowfall warning for the Fraser Valley
Abbotsford has its first real taste of winter, with a large snowfall on Friday and more on Monday morning.
Between the early-morning snowfall on Monday, with more snow to come through the day, the Fraser Valley is forecast to receive 15-20 centimetres by the evening, according to Environment Canada. More snow is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, and temperatures are forecast to be at or below freezing for both days, reaching a low of -6 C on Wednesday.
All public schools in the Abbotsford school district are open today. The district website says buses are running, but some may be slightly behind schedule.
St. John Brebeuf, St. James, Cornerstone Christian, MEI, Abbotsford Christian and Dasmesh Punjabi schools are all closed.
The University of the Fraser Valley has all of its campuses closed today and this evening.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the roads have been busy with "dozens" of vehicles sliding off the road or getting stuck, but no serious incidents have been reported.
He said Townline Road hill is a particularly bad area. He witnessed an eastbound semi truck attempt to make a left turn off Maclure Road and become immobolized when the van in front of him got stuck on the hill. This resulted in the truck blocking westbound traffic until it could move out of the way.
In another incident, a school bus was towed after it was having difficult with traction and sliding, and ended up near a telephone pole.
School district spokesperson Dave Stephen said the decision was made to have the bus towed from the scene, rather than risk a collision with the pole.
Just before 2 p.m., RCMP issued an advisory that there were "extreme" winter driving conditions on Highway 1 east of 232 Street and drivers should stay off the freeway.
Sgt. Peter Thiessen said police instructed tow companies not to remove vehicles that had gone off the road at this point; only to remove those that were a hazard to traffic flow.
"I want to remind drivers that they are required by law to slow down when passing emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road, or two trucks," he said.
MacDonald cautioned drivers to be prepared if they are venturing out.
"If you're vehicle isn't properly equipped for these kind of roads, it's a good day to make a snowman," he said.
For road conditions see drivebc.ca .