A person clears snow from the sidewalks outside Victoria General Hospital in View Royal following a December snowfall. (Don Denton/News Staff)

A person clears snow from the sidewalks outside Victoria General Hospital in View Royal following a December snowfall. (Don Denton/News Staff)

UPDATES: Heavy snowfall closes schools, cancels flights, transit, ferry service across Greater Victoria

BC Transit suspends majority of bus service until further notice

There’s a wet, heavy blanket of fresh snow laying across Greater Victoria Thursday morning, leaving the region’s residents dealing with quite a few delays and cancellations. Here’s everything you need to know about Greater Victoria’s snow day.

Schools

The Greater Victoria, Sooke and Saanich school districts will be closed all day Thursday as roads are cleared of snow and the threat of freezing rain looms. Not many students were scheduled to be in classes, as the majority of students aren’t set to return until Jan. 10 due to a pandemic-induced delayed start.

Camosun College and the University of Victoria have also closed their campuses for the day. Royal Roads University said its campus is only temporarily closed until roads are cleared.

READ ALSO: Unprepared drivers told to avoid travel as crews clear snow-laden Greater Victoria roads

BC Transit

People looking to get around on transit Thursday morning are also stuck at home for the time being. BC Transit has suspended multiple bus routes throughout Greater Victoria until roads are cleared. Routes 4, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 21, 26, 28, 31, 50, 52, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 70 and 72 are currently operating with modified & reduced service.

At 3:30 p.m., BC Transit confirmed routes 1, 12, 13, 25, 43, 46, 47, 48, 53, 56, 57, 63, 64, 65, 83, 85, 87 and 88 will not run for the rest of the day “due to challenging road conditions.”

Up to date information about bus routes can be found at the BC Transit website.

Storm warning

Environment Canada’s winter storm warning remains in effect for the region. It forecasts the overnight heavy snow will begin to mix with rain Thursday, with the possibility of freezing rain throughout the day.

The weather agency warns that snow and freezing rain can reduce visibility and make roads and sidewalks a treacherous place to travel.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop,” it said in its weather statement.

READ ALSO: Thousands without power in Greater Victoria following snowstorm

Warming Centres

The City of Victoria will be operating a warming centre at 380 Cook St. today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Well-behaved pets are permitted in the centre.

The Salvation Army ARC at 525 Johnson St. offers 30 overnight spaces starting at 8:30 p.m. during extreme weather alerts. Pets and shopping carts are not permitted. Soup is served from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Sooke Shelter at 6750 West Coast Rd. also makes 5 mats available overnight starting at 7 p.m. during periods with extreme weather alerts. Pets and shopping carts are permitted, and meals and snacks are provided.

READ MORE: Daytime warming centres to now open for Victoria homeless during emergency weather events

CRD Recycling

With snow-covered and icy roads creating unsafe conditions, the Capital Regional District has cancelled curbside recycling collection for all of its scheduled routes on Jan. 6. Affected residents are being asked to hold their recycling until their next collection day.

There is no limit on how much recycling can be placed at the curb.

City of Victoria waste collection crews continue to operate.

ALSO READ: How to handle recycling as wild weather hampers blue box pickup in Greater Victoria

BC Ferries

BC Ferries cancelled several morning sailings.

Sailings between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay were cancelled all morning to the 10:25 a.m. sailing.

The 7 a.m. leaving Swartz Bay for Tsawwassen and 9 a.m. return from the mainland; Duke Point to Tsawwassen at 5:15 a.m. and return run at 7:45 a.m. from Tsawwassen to Duke Point were all cancelled.

Several early morning sailings are hampered by fog from Swartz Bay in North Saanich to the Gulf Islands.

Follow current conditions here.

READ ALSO: La Nina dominates Vancouver Island’s December weather pattern

Flights

A number of departing and arriving flights to Victoria International Airport were cancelled or delayed. Cancelled departures included flights to Vancouver at 11:10 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. and Calgary at 11:20 a.m. Flights to Edmonton, Kelowna, Seattle at 10:05 a.m., 10:20 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. were delayed as well.

Arrivals from Calgary scheduled at 10:28 a.m. and Vancouver at 10:37 and 11:39 a.m were cancelled. Arrivals from Calgary at 10:30 a.m., Seattle at 11:50 a.m., and Kelowna at 9:40 and 10:35 a.m. were delayed.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Greater VictoriaSnow