Chilliwack residents venturing outside Thursday morning were being advised to use extreme caution.
|A man uses a snow blower to clear a sidewalk on Ashwell Road in Chilliwack Thursday morning. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)|
Freezing rain began falling overnight, and by early morning nearly half a centimetre had accumulated in some parts.
According to Environment Canada, the freezing rain is expected to turn to rain later in the day. But it warns, “A significant layer of ice is possible through Friday over portions of the Fraser Valley.”
In addition, another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is possible throughout the day in the region.
More than seven centimetres fell in Chilliwack overnight, said Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer with Environment Canada. Eleven centimetres was on the ground early Thursday morning, with 0.4 cm of ice accretion.
Freezing rain warning remains in effect for the central and eastern Fraser Valley. Crews are working 24hrs. Drivers are warned to use extreme caution and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
— City of Chilliwack (@City_Chilliwack) December 28, 2017
The icy conditions are prompting warnings from Environment Canada. “Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous. Ice build-up may cause tree branches to break. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays.”
Roads in the interior will be even worse. Mountain passes on both the Coquihalla and Highway 3 could see as much as 30 centimetres of snow.
“Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve,” the weather service says.
The City of Chilliwack echoed that call. “Crews are working 24hrs,” the City said in a Tweet Thursday morning. “Drivers are warned to use extreme caution and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.”
There were several reports of vehicles off the road on Highway 1, including a flipped semi near the Yale Road overpass.
Meanwhile, RCMP confirm one person died in the multi-vehicle crash that closed Highway 1 for several hours near Revelstoke on Wednesday. Four more people are in hospital.