‘It will get better’: Greater Victoria expected to see a return of more traditional west coast weather


The recent weather events were a winter wonderland for some.

“Now that it’s back, I finally get to make a snowman with my brother,” said Tahia McKillop, enjoying her final few days before returning to school.

The heavy snowfall also meant a day of hard labour for others.

“It’s going to be my workout for the day,” said Ryan Wilson, a View Royal resident who spent the morning shovelling both his own driveway and his mother’s.

“I’ve been at it for nearly four hours now,” said Wilson.

He’s also one of the lucky ones to get his hands on some salt, with many stores in the region telling CHEK News they’ve completely sold out.

READ MORE: Snow day: Vancouver Island schools cancel class due to snowfall

“Yesterday we had four skids of salt come in and they were all gone by noon,” said Marty Pullmen, logistics manager with Canadian Tire on Admirals Rd.

The southern tip of Vancouver Island including Victoria and Oak Bay saw less snow than the West Shore and Peninsula which recorded nearly 30 cm of thick, wet snow in less than 24 hours. It’s a highly unusual amount for the region, with The Weather Network’s Tyler Hamilton tweeting that Victoria airport recorded more snow in the past two weeks (49 cm) than Toronto airport (48 cm) has in the past two months.

And the heavy snowfall resulted in many trees falling on BC Hydro powerlines.

“Victoria peaked around 4-5 this morning with about 7,000 customers out,” said Ted Olynyk, community relations manager with BC Hydro. “But crews have made some real progress.”

By late afternoon, BC Hydro reported nearly all its customers in greater Victoria had their power back on.

READ MORE: Thousands without power on Vancouver Island as heavy snow brings trees down onto wires

BC Transit, meanwhile, also got their main route buses back on the roads after the storm forced them to suspend all service in greater Victoria.

“Even if routes are back in service, there may be modifications and detours as well and people can also expect delays,” said Jamie Weiss, senior media relations and public affairs advisor at BC Transit.

Weiss says the situation is fluid and is asking users to check the BC Transit website for updates on route availability.

For now, Environment Canada projects the worst of the storm is over.

“Other than the highest elevations on the Island, we’re going to be transitioning into more of a wet pattern,” said Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Proctor forecasts a more traditional west coast winter weather picture is on the way, with road conditions set to improve.

“It will get better as we move through the day, today, and move into Friday.”

Officials are still warning that road conditions are poor in some areas and drivers should proceed with caution, use tires with adequate tread and check for updates before getting behind the wheel.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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