Weather woes just keep piling up in several regions of British Columbia as a powerful storm batters much of the province.
Winter storm, snowfall, wind and rain warnings remain in effect for northeastern and north-central B.C., most coastal areas, much of Vancouver Island and a section of eastern B.C. that includes Highway 1 from Revelstoke to Golden.
Forecasters are calling for anywhere from 15 to 30 centimetres of snow across inland sections of the central coast and over much of the northern half of the province.
Conditions, especially in the northeast, are not expected to ease until Saturday.
The weather office is calling for gusts of 70 km/h across Metro Vancouver, the inner south coast, Greater Victoria, and much of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
BC Ferries cancelled several sailings early Friday due to high winds and BC Hydro says it is bracing for outages across the south coast while crews continue to restore power to several thousand southern Interior customers left in the dark after a New Year’s Eve snowstorm.
Avalanche Canada issued an uncommon “extreme” warning for many slopes in the Sea-to-Sky region. The organization says in a statement that it “rarely sees” extreme avalanche danger and its website indicates large avalanches are “almost certain” on alpine and treeline sections of slopes in the region that includes Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.
The website says between 40 centimetres and a metre of new snow, coupled with strong wind and warming temperatures will “cause a natural avalanche cycle.”
The risk level is rated as high below the treeline, meaning very dangerous avalanche conditions exist and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.
Those risks are expected to remain for the Sea-to-Sky mountains through Saturday and Avalanche Canada says high risk ratings were also in effect Friday for several mountain ranges from the northwest coast to the Alberta boundary.
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