Environment Canada warns of rain, snow and strong winds across parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Winter storm, snowfall and wind warnings are in effect across coastal and southern British Columbia, including areas affected by flooding last month.  Environment Canada says rain in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley would intensify Fri…

VANCOUVER — Winter storm, snowfall and wind warnings are in effect across coastal and southern British Columbia, including areas affected by flooding last month. 

Environment Canada says rain in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley would intensify Friday night before easing, with up to 60 millimetres expected along with strong winds. 

Further out the valley, from Hope to Princeton and along the Coquihalla, the service predicts snow with accumulations of as much as 30 centimetres, while up to 20 cm is expected to fall through to Saturday in the Sea to Sky region. 

In the southeast, 20 to 30 cm of snow is expected along Highway 3 through to the Elk Valley, and up to 25 cm is predicted across inland sections of the north coast, including Stewart and Terrace.

Environment Canada calls for heavy rain and “very strong” southwesterly winds with gusts up to 110 km/h for west and north coasts of Vancouver Island and the central coast. 

Greater Victoria, central and eastern sections of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands could also see wind speeds up to 60 km/h with gusts up to 90.

The B.C. government issued a warning Thursday saying “severe winter weather” could bring significant rain, snow and heightened avalanche risks.

A warning is also in effect for Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton, where 20 to 30 cm of snow is expected to fall between Friday and Saturday.  

Highway 3 is open only to essential travel and is the main link between the Lower Mainland and Interior as repairs to other routes continue.

The Coquihalla remains closed after severe flooding and landslides last month, although Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Thursday it could reopen by early January. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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