West Kelowna  

Slick conditions, stuck semis on Interior highways

Multiple stuck semis

Madison Erhardt

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

Heavy snowfall continues to wreak havoc on many roads across the Okanagan Valley.

Just after 8 a.m. Westside Road closed in both directions due to a multiple-vehicle collision between Bear Creek and Traders Cove.

Westside Road remains closed at this time.

Witnesses say a logging truck left the road and half of its load flipped over with at least one car colliding with the overturned flat bed.

One eyewitness tells Castanet, "the road is worse than an ice rink. Police and firefighters on scene.

Multiple semi trucks reportedly did not have chains and are now chaining up on the hill.

There are reportedly over 20 semis with cars in between on the west side headed towards Kelowna.

Semi driver Jay Bergan says he started his drive at 6:15 a.m.

“I barely made it up Bridge Hill, but I did and then once I got into West Kelowna on Main Street I knew I was going to put chains on, so I got out and put chains on and here we sit.”

Bergan says he was stopped by Powers Creek Hill.

“A truck slid sideways into the centre and he kind of trapped a car so they got the truck moved, they got the cars all out of the way and now I think they are just trying to chain up the truck.”

“Traffic is just snarled all the way through West Kelowna. Nothing moves southbound for about an hour. ”

In a tweet Drive BC said “ With todays snowfall, travellers are reminded to please reduce speed, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and ensure your vehicle is properly equipped to handle winter conditions.”

For the latest on driving conditions head to DriveBC.ca.

UPDATE 9:29 a.m.

Traffic is moving on Highway 97 near Powers Creek Hill after a collision Monday morning snarled traffic and left the highway closed.

Jay Bergen tells Castanet, "I knew the snow was coming so I put my chains on but every year this seems to happen with the is first snowfall."

Bergen says he saw snowplows out plowing and sanding but, "they didn't use any salt so it's still very slippery."

UPDATE: 7:50 a.m.

Multiple collisions are now reported on Highway 97 in West Kelowna.

Several vehicles, including large transport trucks have gone into the concrete barriers on the snow-slicked section on Highway 97.

The crashes appear minor in nature, but southbound traffic is heavily congested.

Emergency services are on scene.

UPDATE: 7:35 a.m.

A semi is apparently stuck in slick conditions on Highway 97's Bridge Hill in West Kelowna.

Several more vehicles are stuck on Gorman's Hill, further south in West Kelowna.

It's unclear at this time if either incident involves collisions, but traffic is backed up heavily.

Poor driving conditions are reported across the region as snow makes area highways treacherous.

UPDATE: 7:25 a.m.

Driving conditions are slick this morning as snow falls across the Thompson-Okanagan.

We are hearing reports of treacherous conditions between Vernon and Kelowna on Highway 97, and also on Bridge Hill in West Kelowna.

We're not hearing reports of any accidents at this time, although several travellers across the region report little to no snow plowing being done.

ORIGINAL: 7 a.m.

Slick conditions are reported on area highways as snow falls across the Southern Interior this morning.

Transport trucks are reported spinning out on Gorman's Hill on Highway 97 in West Kelowna, and numerous vehicles are stuck in the uphill, southbound lane, residents overlooking the area report.

Highway webcams show snow falling as well on major highways out of the region, including the Okanagan Connector, Coquihalla, Hope-Princeton, and Trans-Canada Highway.

Today's forecast calls for periods of snow ending near noon, then clearing.

Accumulations of two to four centimetres are expected in the Okanagan.

There is a 40 per cent chance of more snow overnight and a risk of freezing drizzle.

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