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Snowfall warning in effect for Whistler

Overnight snow dump brings highway traffic to a crawl



While a prodigious overnight snow dump was surely welcomed up in Whistler's alpine on Saturday, Nov. 26, down in the valley, traffic was at a crawl. A snowfall warning is in effect.

Challenging conditions and limited visibility have tested drivers' abilities and patience over the American Thanksgiving holiday, with several feet of snow over the past three days. A collision early Saturday afternoon also blocked the southbound right lane of Highway 99 at the Garibaldi Salt Shed, reported DriveBC. Delays are expected.

Plowing and sanding is taking place between Depot Road up to Whistler, and DriveBC also reported two extra plows have been sent in to help deal with the challenging conditions.

With more of the white stuff in the forecast, a heavy snowfall warning was issued for Whistler Saturday. Environment Canada says a warm front moving across the south coast will continue to dump snow throughout the day. Ten centimetres fell overnight, with a further 15 centimetres expected before the snow becomes mixed with rain this afternoon.

The government agency also warned of sudden reductions in visibility, and advised the public to drive to conditions.

Social media was littered with complaints of slow-going traffic Saturday, with several drivers reporting at least a two-hour ride between Whistler and Squamish. A handful of other reports came in complaining of vehicles without the proper snow tires in place. Snow tires marked with either the mountain, snowflake or M + S symbols are required by law on light vehicles between Oct. 1 and March 31 in B.C.

The snowy conditions have spelled good news for the opening weekend of Whistler Blackcomb's ski season, with 22 centimetres in the alpine in the last 24 hours and 131 centimetres over the past three days.

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