Traffic mayhem, power outages, plane off taxiway as snow hits B.C. south coast

Traffic mayhem, power outages, plane off taxiway as snow hits B.C. south coast
Workers are seen around an EVA Air Boeing 777 aircraft that went off a taxiway onto soft ground after landing at Vancouver International Airport from Taipei during a snowstorm during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Nobody was injured and passengers were taken off the plane and shuttled to the terminal on buses after being stuck onboard for three hours. Snowfall, winter storm and arctic outflow warnings were in effect for most of British Columbia as a powerful storm packing frigid winds moved through the province.

The first major fall snowstorm to hit British Columbia’s south coast paralyzed traffic, cut power to thousands of homes and even affected Vancouver International Airport as a plane skidded off a taxiway.

The snow and freezing temperatures turned many Metro Vancouver roads and bridges to sheets of ice, making the Tuesday evening commute an hours-long ordeal.

Crews worked through the night to restore power in many areas, including hard-hit regions of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, where BC Hydro says nearly 16,000 customers were still in the dark by morning.

As many as 5,000 more homes and businesses are without electricity across Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, but a statement from BC Hydro says power has been restored to more than 30,000 customers since the storm began.

At Vancouver International Airport, officials are urging patience after an EVA Air flight skidded off a taxiway upon landing Tuesday evening and remains stuck in the grass beside the north runway.

No one was hurt and the passengers were safely removed, but the north runway is closed, causing flight delays and cancellations as all takeoffs and landings shift to the south runway.

Rain had replaced snow across most of the south coast by morning and snowfall warnings have been lifted for Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver as temperatures climb above freezing.

Environment Canada warned that frigid conditions will return overnight, potentially creating more slick conditions.

READ ALSO: Snow day: Island school districts announce Wednesday closures

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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