First snowfall of winter in Greater Victoria causes problems

Watch Winter has hit with a vengeance and the first snowfall of the winter in Victoria and freezing temperatures are causing problems. Tess van Straaten reports.

A white minivan ended up head-first into the ditch on the Pat Bay Highway near Beaver Lake Monday morning.

It was one of three vehicles to go off the road — and six others to crash on that stretch of road — during the morning commute.

No one was hurt but traffic was reduced to one lane and police say snow and ice build-up on the road are to blame.

“This incident caused a delay for morning commuters,” says Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich Police Dept. “While speed was not believed to be a factor, we are reminding motorists to drive relative to the road and weather conditions.”

Snow started falling Sunday evening as Greater Victoria was hit with its first snowfall of winter.

Most areas saw between five and 10 centimetres by morning, with parts of the West Shore getting around 15 centimetres or half a foot of snow.

Cold arctic air is also plunging Vancouver Island, and all of B.C., into the deep freeze.

“We’ve had arctic air come down from northern B.C. and pretty much the whole province is under this arctic air mass, giving freezing temperatures,” explains Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon.

Temperatures are five to 10 degrees below normal and that’s without the windchill — which is leading to double-digit below zero readings.

Due to the freezing temperatures and ice that’s formed, many sidewalks and side streets are very slippery.

“Any freezing on surfaces, whether you’re driving or walking, it’s very hazardous,” says Sekhon. “Having that wet surface and then freeze with this arctic air, that’s a very dangerous combination.”

The icy, cold weather and snow also meant BC Transit detours and cancellations on Monday, as well as delays at the airport, as this blast of winter chills the Island.

And more snow and cold weather is on the way, with special weather statements in effect for all of Vancouver Island except the northern tip.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!