New storm to hit Vancouver Island as drivers cautioned to slow down

New storm to hit Vancouver Island as drivers cautioned to slow down
CHEK
WatchWarnings were issued for parts of Vancouver Island late Friday afternoon with snow amounts of up to 20cm expected before changing to rain. The warnings come as drivers are being warned to slow down on island highways.

Schools were closed again Friday for North Island District and Comox Valley District students. Roads were deemed to be too slippery for safe travel to school in the morning.

The roads are expected to get bad again Friday night so public works crews have been out around the clock cleaning up from the last storm while anticipating the next one.

Drivers, especially those on the Inland Island Highway 19 are being told to be careful.

“Slow down please, I’d rather be at home,” said Deep Bay Fire Chief George Lenz. “We had a couple of rollovers and there were three or four vehicles in ditches, just people went off the road.”

Lenz said his volunteer department had responded to a flurry of crashes around sunset Thursday. They were then called to Highway 19 north of Horne Lake Road where a fuel tanker truck with about 8,000 litres of diesel on board went off the icy road and flipped over.

No serious injuries were reported in any of the crashes, including the flipped tanker truck and only a very minor fuel leak.

The highway was extremely icy in the area and Mainroad Mid Island was brining and salting but drivers are being told there can still be slippery sections.

“Especially during the night here when it’s cold,” said Mainroad’s Chris Cowley. “If you’re driving down the highway and it looks nice and glassy, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 100 per cent wet, it could still be black ice.”

On Denman Island, crews were able to pull out a snowplow and school bus Friday morning, which were both stuck on a snowy road since Wednesday’s storm. The school bus got stuck first and then when the plow went to help, it became stuck as well.

Mainroad sent five additional pieces of equipment to Denman Island Friday to clear the remaining roads.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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