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Heavy snowfall causing highway issues across Southern B.C.

Highway 1 closed all night

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

While a fatal crash near Golden closed the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden all afternoon, it appears the highway will remain closed through the night due to the high avalanche danger in the area. 

The four-vehicle collision about 20 kilometres west of Golden earlier in the afternoon killed one of the people involved, and closed the highway in both directions for several hours. 

DriveBC initially said the highway would be intermittently closed throughout the night for avalanche control work, but at 8 p.m., the decision was made to keep the highway closed until at least 8 a.m. Wednesday.



UPDATE: 5:35 p.m.

The Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden is expected to remain closed until 8 p.m., after a four-vehicle collision killed a person Tuesday afternoon.

But following the reopening, the highway is expected to be intermittently closed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, as crews conduct avalanche control work along the mountain pass.

Intermittent closures will last for two to three hours throughout the night. 


UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

RCMP in Golden now say a four-vehicle crash on the Trans Canada Highway west of that community has claimed a life.

In a news release, police say the crash involved two passenger vehicles and two commercial vehicles.

The stretch of highway remains closed while the BC Coroners Service and an RCMP reconstruction team assess the scene.

"At this time, the cause of the collision is not known, however winter driving conditions are being considered as a possible contributing factor," says Cpl. Mike Halskov.

Motorists can expect the highway to remain closed for a number of hours while the collision is investigated and the highway is made safe for travel. Motorists are asked to monitor DriveBC.ca for updates and to consider postponing travel plans through the area."

The latest update from DriveBC indicated the highway could reopen by about 8 p.m.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to call TCETS in Golden at 250-344-2221.


UPDATE: 4:15 p.m.

DriveBC estimates the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden will reopen by 8 p.m.

A multi-vehicle crash about 20 kilometres west of Golden closed the highway earlier Tuesday afternoon.


UPDATE: 3:05 p.m.

A multi-vehicle crash has closed the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred at about 2:30 p.m. west of Golden, at Ford Station Road, and closed the highway in both directions.

DriveBC says crews are currently assessing the scene, and there is currently no estimated reopening time.

More snow is expected to fall in the area, with total accumulation on Rogers Pass forecast to hit 25 centimetres by Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile to the south, Kootenay Pass remains closed due to the high avalanche risk in the area. 


UPDATE 12:05 p.m.

The Trans Canada Highway will be closed between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. this afternoon (January 7, 2020) for avalanche control work between Three Valley Avalanche Gate and Boulder Mtn Avalanche Gate west of Revelstoke.


UPDATE 9:02 a.m.

The Coquihalla Highway will be closed in both directions Wednesday, January 8th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for avalanche control work.


ORIGINAL 5 a.m.

The parade of storms across B.C. continues, with multiple warnings from Environment Canada being issued over the past 24 hours.

Upwards of 40 to 70 cm of snow has fallen or will fall on highway passes. Snow at high elevations will also increase the avalanche risk across the Southern Interior.

Mike Conlan, a forecaster with Avalanche Canada, tells Castanet: "We have a fairly intense storm approaching from the Pacific and passing over the province, bringing quite a bit of snowfall and strong winds. Because of that, our avalanche danger is rising."

A snowmobiler lost his life on Sunday after being trapped in an avalanche near Cabin Lake and Prospect Creek, 56 kilometres west of Merritt.
 
The death highlights the dangers involved in B.C.'s backcountry.

Conlan highlights the importance of making smart terrain choices.

"The southern half of the province is at high avalanche danger, and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended," he said Monday. "If you don't know the difference between avalanche terrain and non-avalanche terrain, you shouldn't be going. You should be properly trained with courses (and gear) from the Avalanche Canada Training Program."

If you plan on heading into the backcountry, you should travel with an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel at the minimum.

Conlan stresses what he calls good companion rescue skills – "being prepared, having the proper equipment and really practising to make sure that you can effectively use your avalanche safety equipment."



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