Hundreds of cars stranded in snowstorm on Coquihalla Highway (PHOTOS)

Dec 30 2016, 9:00 am

Hundreds of vehicles along Highway 1 near Hope and Highway 5, also known as the Coquihalla Highway, are stranded after a snowstorm created treacherous conditions and trapped motorists.

Webcams operated by the Ministry of Transportation show heavy snow accumulation and a line of stalled cars in the snow.

“We’re just not moving and I’m not sure why exactly, [but it] seems like traffic is not moving up ahead,” Isabella Martin, who is with family on the Coquihalla, told Daily Hive. “I can’t really see that far ahead… the visibility is quite poor and the snow is still coming down heavy but I do see a lot of car lights in front and behind me.”

The provincial government says the Highway 1 north of Hope and Highway 5 are fully closed until further notice, although it hopes to reopen the Coquihalla early this evening. According to a tweet by Drive BC, there are multiple multi-vehicle collisions along the routes.

It says 30 cm of snow has accumulated within just a five hour period, and in response it has deployed 25 snow plows, graders, and other equipment to clear the roads for drivers.

“Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution or consider alternative
plans,” reads a release. “If you do need to travel on these routes, motorists should use
extra caution, increase their following distance and keep a safe distance
from snow plows.”

Winter tires are required for vehicles traveling on the Coquihalla and Highway 1 from October 1 to March 31.

Snowfall warnings were issued earlier today for both the Coquihalla Highway and the Sea to Sky Highway from Squamish to Whistler, where up to 20 cm is expected. Traffic conditions are slow just south of Whistler, but at this time there are no reports of complete stalls.

For those who need to use Highway 1 or the Coquihalla beyond Hope, drivers are strongly advised to make alternate travel plans until conditions change.

Image by: Drive BC

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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