NEWS

B.C. storm: avalanche risk closes three highways

01/05/2015 09:36 EST | Updated 03/07/2015 05:59 EST
Three B.C. highways remained closed on Monday morning because of the high risk of avalanches created by the weekend snowstorm, but it was not enough snow to fully open the ski hills on Vancouver's North Shore.

At 6 a.m. PT Highway 1 was closed in both directions from Craigellachie to Revelstoke. Highway 3 was also closed at the Kootenay Pass west of Creston, and Highway 31 was closed in two places, south of Meadow Creek and also north of Trout Lake. Check with DriveBC for updates on all the routes.

The heavy snow was welcomed by ski hills across the province, including Whistler, which received 39 centimetres of new snow in 48 hours.

On Vancouver's North Shore the snowstorm dumped 30 centimetres of snow on the mountains, allowing the three ski hills to open more terrain. But Cypress Mountain Resort was reporting the snow had already turned to rain overnight, meaning the North Shore resorts are unlikely to open completely anytime soon.

Sea-to-Sky snarls

The snow also created treacherous driving conditions on the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler on Sunday, leaving many skiers stuck in traffic for several hours on the drive home.

Karen Palmer says it took her more than three hours to drive the 60 kilometres from Whistler to Squamish, but it was not just the snow creating the problem.

"Totally brutal! I mean part of the problem is there there are cars without snow tires, but part of the problem is that the highway hasn't been plowed. No RCMP, no work crew, nobody to help the people push their cars up the hills, like just nothing. Absolutely no services," said Palmer.

Miller Capilano Corporation, which is contracted to plow the Sea-to-Sky Highway, said it had 15 plows working yesterday — three more than it's obligated to make available. A company spokesperson told CBC that crews prepared for the storm, but heavy snow and high traffic volumes made it difficult to keep the roadway clear.

Tweet your photos to #CBCstorm

MORE:cbcNews