7:20 p.m. update:
Highway 5 was closed southbound at Merritt for over an hour because of a car accident.
There still a travel advisory in effect for the Coquihalla. DriveBC says there is limited visibility with heavy snowfall from Exit 202, Portia Interchange to Exit 256, Kingsvale (Coldwater Road) (54.8 km).
Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary
Detour available via Hwy 1 or Hwy 8.
9:20 a.m. update: DriveBC reports crews have removed the heavy snowfall accumulation from Exit. 202 to Merritt.
Snowfall continues between Merritt and Hope. Travellers are advised to be prepared for winter driving conditions. Adjust speeds and exercise caution.
6 a.m. Feb. 17 update: Travel Advisories from DriveBC
Highway 5 Both directions - Limited Visibility Heavy Snowfall from Hope to Merritt. Travel is not recommended.
Highway 97C Both directions - Heavy Snowfall from Merritt to Pennask Summitt (1728 metres) (77 km). The travel advisory has been lifted, but watch for compact snow and slippery sections.
Highway 3 Both directions - The highway is closed in both directions from Junction with Highway 1, in Hope to Princeton (125 km) because of multiple vehicle incidents. Assessment in progress.
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7 p.m. Feb. 16: A travel advisory has been issued for Highway 5. both directions, due to limited visibility and heavy snowfall from Hope to Merritt. Driving conditions and visibility are treacherous, and likely to remain so through the evening.
Castanet's Trevor Rockliffe, who took the photo above, was traveling on the highway this afternoon, and reports difficult conditions. "The snow was piled higher than the vehicle on both sides. Traffic was down to a single lane, and we were only going 40 kph in some spots."
Relieved to be back home, Rockliffe went on to say, "A highway flagger was stopping all semis at a u-turn location on the Coquihalla, giving instructions to chain up. There was a row of eight semis in front of us, all pulled over to chain up."
The advisory warns to travel the highway only if absolutely necessary. "It was tough to see the road, and the road crews were not keeping up with snowfall," cautions Rockliffe.