Tuesday evening’s drive home was hellish for many Metro Vancouverites leaving the city for the suburbs as a winter storm closed major bridges and turned roads into ice rinks. Many drivers spent eight hours on the road — or more — trying to get home. Some reported heavy traffic jams into the early hours of the morning.
Kelsey Woof spent more than 12 hours driving from Vancouver to North Delta after trying three bridges and the Massey Tunnel. She first tried to get over the Alex Fraser, but she got low on gas while watching others stop their cars and get out. She turned around and tried the Massey Tunnel after stopping for gas in Richmond, only for Steveston Highway to become blocked.
After that, she followed a road parallel to the river to go over the Queensborough Bridge, but got stopped by a gate. Then she tried getting to the Patullo Bridge via Marine Drive, but she heard an update that parts of her route were closed — including every way to access the Patullo.
Her last option was the Port Mann Bridge. She inched along the Trans Canada Highway, took Gaglardi to Lougheed, and finally crawled over the Bridge.
She finally made it home at 2:56 am exactly. “I’ll never forget such a day,” she told Daily Hive. ” I saw buses stuck and backwards, several cars abandoned, people sleeping in their cars, and people spinning around everywhere.”
Traffic reporter Trish Jewison went back to work at 11 pm because she couldn’t get home at all.
The Insurance Corporation of BC doesn’t have collision statistics for the stormy day yet, but spokesperson Lindsay Wilkins said they’re experiencing a “big increase in calls this morning.”
Things weren’t good for transit users either. The wet snow made hills impassable for many buses. The storm dumped between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow on the Lower Mainland, according to Environment Canada. High winds also blew the snow around, making for a mess on many of the region’s roads.
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