Medicine Hat News

Multiple incidents close Coquihalla Hwy on Monday as winter storm hits area



The Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia was closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt on Monday afternoon because of multiple incidents.

The Drive BC highway report urged people who have to travel to take other routes like the Fraser Canyon.

Winter storm and snowfall warnings were issued by Environmen­t Canada for swaths of B.C.’s southern Interior, including stretches of several highways.

The weather agency called for up to 35 centimetre­s of snow in the Similkamee­n and Elk Valley areas before tapering off Monday night, while the Nicola and Boundary regions could see accumulati­ons of up to 20 cm.

The snowfall was expected to be more variable in the Okanagan, with less accumulati­on at lower elevations, though Environmen­t Canada says the highway between Merritt and Kelowna could see heavier snow.

The Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt and Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton were subject to winter storm warnings.

Environmen­t Canada says heavy snow was expected to continue throughout the highway passes before tapering off late Monday night, with total snowfall accumulati­ons generally ranging from 25 to 35 cm.

“A deepening Pacific low will make its way across Washington state during the day then will cross the southeast corner of British Columbia,” it says. “Abundant moisture associated with the system combined with cold air to the north of its trajectory will produce heavy snowfall across the southern Interior of B.C.”

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