12/06/2013 01:00 EST | Updated 02/05/2014 05:59 EST

Extreme weather forces school cancellations, more shelters

The cold, wintery weather was having a widespread impact across B.C.’s South Coast on Friday.

In the Comox Valley, School District 71 says all schools are closed today because of the snow and road conditions. DriveBC warns of slippery sections and compact snow on many of the island highways this morning.

BC Ferries also indicate that weather conditions forced the cancellation of an early morning trip from Sturdies Bay on Galiano Island.

In Victoria, an extreme weather protocol is in effect, with a forecasted windchill of -19 C in Greater Victoria tonight.

Don Evans, executive director of Our Place, is one of the shelter that’s opening up extra space today.

“We’ve got 30 mats set out and we can expand up to 50 if we need it,” says Evans.

On the mainland, the cold spot is in the Fraser Valley, where Environment Canada says wind chill values will make it feel like -17 C today and down to -19 C overnight.

Abbotsford Police Constable Ian MacDonald says police are approaching homeless people and offering them rides to shelters, but they won't force them to go.

Double-digit lows are forecast for the Fraser Valley through Monday.