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All lanes reopen on Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt

All lanes open on Coq

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

DriveBC reports the southbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway have also reopened between Merritt and Hope.

"Drive to compact snow, slushy and slippery road conditions and watch for snow clearing equipment," DriveBC said in a tweet.


UPDATE 4:25 p.m.

The northbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway have reopened between Merritt and Hope.

Southbound lanes were scheduled to reopen around 4:30 p.m.

DriveBC cautions motorists to drive to the conditions and watch for snow clearing equipment.


UPDATE 1:35 p.m.

The Coquihalla highway is closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt.

DriveBC says there have been several vehicle incidents.

It's recommending people travelling between the BC Interior and the Lower Mainland use Highway 3, Highway 5A or Highway 1.

There's no word when the Coquihalla might reopen.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for Highway 97C, the Okanagan Connector, due to heavy snow and local blowing snow.


UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

Northbound lanes of the Coquihalla highway remain closed Sunday, after a jack-knifed semi truck near Larson Hill initially closed the highway just before 9:30 a.m.

While the highway remains closed at this time, with no estimate from DriveBC on when it might reopen, webcam footage from the Larson Hill area shows clearing skies.

The winter storm warning for the Okanagan Connector has been extended through the rest of Sunday though.

"An unstable airmass will prevail over the southern interior behind a cold front," Environment Canada says. "Further snowfall accumulations 5 to 10 cm are expected today. In addition, strong northwest winds gusting to 60 km/h will cause blowing snow and near zero visibility."

Snow fell at higher elevations across the region overnight, causing slippery conditions on highways.


UPDATE: 9:40 a.m.

A jack-knifed semi truck has closed the northbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway Sunday morning.

Significant overnight snowfall has caused slippery conditions on Interior mountain highways. Webcam footage shows the highway is completely covered in snow in some areas.

Just after 9 a.m., a semi truck jack-knifed in the northbound lanes near Larson Hill. The incident has forced the closure of the northbound lanes of the highway between Merritt and Hope.

DriveBC says an assessment is currently underway. The severity of the crash is not known at this time.

DriveBC does not have an estimated time the highway may reopen.


ORIGINAL: 7:40 a.m.

Snow fell across the Interior overnight, making for slippery driving conditions in some areas.

About 21 cm of snow fell over the Coquihalla Summit overnight, while snow also fell on the Okanagan Connector.

Webcam images from both mountain passes show the roads are covered in snow Sunday morning, and a commercial vehicle chain up requirement continues to be in effect on the Coquihalla.

Environment Canada's winter storm warning remains in effect for the Connector this morning, with more snow expected to fall.

“An intense Pacific cold front is moving across the southern interior early this morning. Further snowfall accumulations 5 to 10 cm are expected as the front moves through,” Environment Canada said at 6:35 a.m.

“In addition, strong northwest winds gusting to 60 km/h will cause blowing snow and near zero visibility.”

Flurries and gusting winds are also forecast through the day on the Coquihalla.

Slippery conditions have been reported at lower elevation as well. One Castanet reader sent in a photo of the snow-covered Highway 97, just south of Vernon, at 7:10 a.m.

“Not a snow plow in sight,” the reader said.

Meanwhile, downtown Kelowna only saw a light dusting of snow through the night.



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