Southern B.C. hit by record-breaking snowfall
Published Monday, February 6, 2017 4:44PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 7, 2017 9:16AM EST
Southern British Columbia continues to bear the brunt of a record-breaking winter blast, with snow covering both inland and island communities after the second storm in four days.
The conditions range from light flakes in downtown Vancouver and Victoria, to heavy flakes and white-out conditions in communities in the Lower Mainland.
Parts of B.C. have received their yearly snowfall average in 72 hours, with Vancouver beating its own snowfall record set in 1946.
On Vancouver Island, public transit officials warned commuters to expect delays and the Victoria International Airport reported a number of delays and cancellations.
In Abbotsford, the winter weather was blamed for several car accidents overnight and throughout the day.
"It essentially buried about eight different vehicles," said Const. Ian MacDonald, with Abbotsford police. "So, ourselves and some locals there with their farm equipment were able to dig out about 20 individuals that had become stuck in the snow."
Further east in Chilliwack, 78 centimetres has fallen on the city leaving residents frustrated with city crews dumping even more snow on sidewalks.
School was cancelled in several school districts across Metro Vancouver, with education officials saying they didn't make the decision lightly.
"Even if the students can make it in, a lot of teachers live in different municipalities," said Doug Strachan with the Surrey School District. "So there's a lot to consider."
North of Vancouver, the snow has buried bus stops in the District of North Vancouver, forcing pedestrians into the street in search of public transit.
"I think it's a big learning curve and learning experience," said Katrin Tammark, a North Vancouver resident about the uncleared sidewalks and bus stops. "Hopefully they learn from it and make those changes around bus stops and things like that."
The district says crews' first priority is clearing main roadways, followed by sidewalks and bus stops if they have time.
Some residents are giving road crews the benefit of the doubt for the buried stops.
"The sidewalk is secondary, I think, and those people that are complaining, I don't know where they're coming from," said Frank Sindell, who has lived in the area for 60 years.
But there was one bright spot for students at the University of British Columbia. The snow wallop led to a massive snowball fight, involving hundreds of students.