Winter storm leads to ferry, bus cancellations on Vancouver Island

Winter storm leads to ferry, bus cancellations on Vancouver Island
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

BC Ferries has cancelled morning sailings between Victoria and Vancouver Thursday due to a winter storm on B.C.’s South Coast affecting vessel staff.

The 7 a.m. sailing from Swartz Bay and the 9 a.m. sailing from Tsawassen on the Spirit of Vancouver Island were both cancelled as a result.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us. We don’t take the decision to cancel sailings lightly, as we know customers rely on us to get to their destinations. We will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so,” BC Ferries said on its website.

Sailings were also cancelled between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay through 11:35 a.m. due to adverse weather.

The 9 a.m. sailing from Victoria and the 11 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen were still scheduled to depart as of 7:15 a.m. Thursday.

BC Transit also announced it had cancelled most of its routes in Greater Victoria due to slippery roads.

Service on Route 50 between Langford and Downtown Victoria and Route 70 between Swartz Bay and downtown were expected to resume delayed service.

BC Transit said it would also be suspending all bus service in the Cowichan Valley due to the storm.

The cancellations come as Environment Canada issued winter storm warnings for much of Vancouver Island and B.C.’s South Coast.

The weather agency said it expected snow to change to freezing rain over inland areas of Vancouver Island and the Malahat Highway, with a risk of freezing rain for Victoria and East Vancouver Island.

“Highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery,” Environment Canada said.

Nearly 30 centimetres of snow had already been recorded at Victoria International Airport Thursday morning.

Snow is expected to change to rain in all areas by early afternoon.

Environment Canada said it expects as much as 50 millimetres of rain over the inner south coast through Friday before snow has a chance to melt, saying that could create pooling water and slippery conditions on many routes.

With files from the Canadian Press.


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