Winter has been blasting through the eastern portion of the Fraser Valley, forcing school closures and transit cancellations, and creating nightmares for commuters.
Residents of the eastern Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, got approximately 10 centimetres of new snow Tuesday on top of 30 to 40 cm that had already fallen since Jan. 13.
Officials have been warning drivers to avoid Highway 1 if possible.
Students enjoyed a day home on Tuesday, and the opportunity to take sleds to the hills.
Meanwhile, city snowplows worked around the clock to keep key roads open.
“We had a fair amount of snow the last couple of nights and we have all of our equipment and all of the staff available on a 24-hour basis, working. So we’re trying to stay on top of it,” said city manager Frank Pizzuto on Tuesday.
The temperature was forecast to hit a low of -8C last night, and -22C with wind chill added.
Today (Thursday) is forecast to be the coldest day of the week, with a low of -10 C, a high of only -3 C, and more flurries expected.
The snow and low temperatures have created a serious need for shelter for the homeless.
Deb Lowell of the Abbotsford Salvation Army said they can provide shelter for about 40 people – men and women.
“Typically we have shelter for 20 people … in extreme weather we can have as many as 40. We put cots out in our ICBC conference room,” said Lowell.
As well, “When extreme weather gets put into place, we have churches onside,” said Lowell.
On Monday night, 35 people took shelter at the Salvation Army facility with another 12 taking refuge at Sevenoaks Alliance Church.
“The whole idea for us is developing relationships with the homeless population and those who struggle to maintain housing, all year long,” said Lowell.
The Salvation Army is located at 34081 Gladys Ave. Call 604-852-9305 for shelter information.
For information on school closures keep checking www.abbynews.com.
For road conditions see drivebc.ca. Transit customers can call the transit office for routing information at 604-854-5902 or check the website www.bctransit.com/regions/cfv