The snowfall is easing, much to the relief of many on the region’s roads – but not before causing commuter chaos this morning.
About three to five centimetres fell across the region this morning, and a snowfall warning remains in effect at this hour.
And Global BC Meteorologist Mark Madryga says we’ll see more this afternoon and evening.
“The bet right now is for higher parts of Metro Vancouver plus the majority of the Fraser Valley, with still some Arctic air flowing out of the northeast, to have wet snow, with 10-15 cm possible late today through overnight. Lower elevations may be more into the mixed rain and snow phase later today and this evening.”
In Vancouver, which saw gridlock in many areas, the mayor says the city was as prepared as it could have been.
With manager of city engineering Jerry Dobrovolny by his side, Gregor Robertson says what could’ve been done was done.
“Our arterials were cleared, there’ve been some problems and hot spots, but deal with those as they’re reported on.”
But when asked if he’d give his city a passing grade, Robertson would only say this:
“At this point I know our crews have been on this one. I expect the arterials will be fine through the day today, we’ll see what happens tonight.
City crews were out in full force in the days leading up to the snow, with salt and brining on the major roads.
Yesterday, Mayor Gregor Robertson and the city’s manager of engineering said the city was ready for another round of snow, though said they didn’t anticipate too harsh of a winter blast.
The city has also reactivated warming centres at the Carnegie and West End Community Centres, and The Hall on Venables.
TransLink says SkyTrain is again operating normally, after a disruption cut off service to much of Richmond for about an hour. but has begun to report weather-related disruptions to bus service, with service “very delayed” across the city, particularly in areas with hills.
But the situation with buses is worse, with service “very delayed” across the city, particularly in areas with hills.
TransLink spokesperson Anne Drennan says slick roads are causing trouble for the fleet, and there have been at least four collisions involving buses.
“We’ve got heavy snow reported everywhere and unfortunately it’s sticking to the roadways. In Vancouver we have multiple coaches that are stuck, we have reports of buses that are stuck at Dunbar and Marine, Davie and Nicola, several on Commercial Drive, the #20 line is terminating at the loop at 54th and Victoria.”
READ MORE: Lower Mainland braces for the return of snow
Passengers are being warned to dress warmly and be prepared to wait.
SFU Burnaby Campus and Emily Carr University have also cancelled afternoon classes.
Metro Vancouver could also see its first-ever use of a helicopter to clear snow from a bridge this weekend.
The Ministry of Transportation has contracted a heavy lift chopper to blow snow off the cables of the Alex Fraser if conditions get bad enough.
That event would mean a two to three-hour closure of the span.
The Ministry says it’s also got crews ready at the Port Mann — where they’ll be dropping snow-clearing collars in order to prevent buildup and so-called “ice bombs.”
A similar cable collar system is also currently being tested to see how it works on the Alex Fraser.
Meanwhile, salt and shovel supplies at local hardware stores seem to be holding up.
Calls to a trio of Home Depot locations in Vancouver say they’re well stocked with snow supplies.
However, staff there are cautioning that they do anticipate the salt and shovels will go quick, mentioning one customer had just walked out with three 20-kilogram buckets.
At this point, Saturday’s temperatures are expected to be milder at plus three degrees.
Environment Canada also says a second storm is forecast for Sunday, which could bring more snow and rain to the region.
Cold air is also predicted early next week meaning more possible snowfall.