The North Shore ground to a halt Tuesday morning as a massive overnight snowfall resulted in limited bus service, large snowdrifts covering most side streets and a warning from police and municipalities not to travel unless absolutely essential.
Heavy snow is causing “considerable delays” on buses, TransLink reported early Tuesday, with buses in North Vancouver operating only between Phibbs exchange and Lonsdale Quay.
“Buses are stopping along Main Street at Harbour Avenue and Brooksbank Avenue. No other buses are operating in North Vancouver City or District,” TransLink stated Tuesday morning.
Environment Canada reported that approximately 25 centimetres of snow fell in areas of North Vancouver overnight, with slightly less – about 16 centimetres – reported closer to the water in West Vancouver.
Bus slides on ice in North Van, hits Hydro pole, parked cars
There was one dramatic accident overnight on the 4100 block of Mountain Highway near Dempsey Road when a TransLink bus driving south hit a sheet of ice around 9:15 p.m. The bus slid into a utility pole, which fell onto a house, said Const. Mansoor Sahak of the North Vancouver RCMP. The bus then slid into three parked vehicles, he said, causing one of those vehicles to roll and crash into another house, causing some structural damage. The bus hit a Hydro pole, which also fell into a third house. Finally, the bus hit a tree, which fell into the road.
“There were surprisingly no injuries,” he said.
Sahak said roads were slick Tuesday morning, and police were advising residents to stay home and not travel if they can.
“The roads are extremely bad. It doesn’t matter if you have four by four,” he said. “If you don’t need to be out there, don’t take your chances.”
B.C. Ferries cancels sailings
As for travel by sea, SeaBus was operating normally Tuesday.
B.C. Ferries cancelled early-morning sailings on all three of its routes out of West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay terminal Tuesday. By mid-morning, service had resumed on the Bowen Island and Sunshine Coast routes and resumed on the Vancouver Island sailings by about 10:30 a.m..
Municipal crews work to clear priority routes
District of North Vancouver crews were working flat out Tuesday morning to try to clear priority routes “but conditions are making this extremely challenging,” according to a statement posted by the municipality.
“District crews have been working at full capacity around the clock to clear Priority 1 routes,” said District of West Vancouver spokesperson Donna Powers.
To help snow clearing efforts, residents are asked not to park cars on the street.
“Crews will continue on Priority 1 until the roads are stable. After that, they will move on to Priority 2, which is main arterial routes. Local roads and cul-de-sacs will not be cleared until everything else is stable, so we ask residents to be patient as staff tackle this major weather event,” said Powers.
Garbage and organics collection cancelled
Garbage and organics collection has also been cancelled in the districts of both North Vancouver and West Vancouver on Tuesday. The municipality advised residents to remove their carts and set them out on the next collection day. The West Vancouver Memorial library was also closed Tuesday morning.
In West Vancouver, a crew was also out dealing with fallen trees and branches downed by heavy snow.
About 7,000 customers face power outage in North Van
Approximately 7,000 customers on the North Shore were also without power Tuesday morning as trees weighed down by heavy snow fell, bring down power lines. BC Hydro crews were investigating outages in the area of Capilano, Westview and Larson roads, Edgemont and Pemberton Heights Tuesday morning. Additional smaller pockets of power outages had been reported in Cedardale and Marine Drive in West Vancouver.