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Arctic cold front blasts island roads, ferries

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 | 1:46 pm

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A blast of Arctic air is barrelling down on the West Coast of B.C., dumping snow on the streets of Victoria and shutting down some ferry routes between the islands.

Police in Victoria are asking people to keep their vehicles off the street after a dump of snow made some routes impassable and led to a rash of traffic accidents.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast, and road conditions are expected to worsen.

The Greater Victoria Transit Authority has cancelled some bus routes, including those to Royal Roads University. No public schools were closed, but in Sooke, students who take buses will be sent home one hour earlier than their regular dismissal times, officials said.

Galiano, Hornby, Denman ferries cancelled

Elsewhere on the coast gusting winds carrying cool arctic air are expected send temperatures plunging to as low as minus 20 with the wind-chill factor.

Environment Canada is forecasting winds of up to 80 km/h over the southern section of the Strait of Georgia on Monday afternoon, and BC Ferries is advising travellers to check online schedules after the high winds forced the cancellation of some trips to Galiano, Hornby, and Denman Islands.

“Please be advised that due to extreme weather conditions forecasted for this afternoon we do anticipate possible sailing delays or cancellations between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands,” the ferry service has advised.

The Queen of Burnaby's 11:15 a.m. PT stop at Sturdies Bay on Galiano Island has already been cancelled and BC Ferries recommends that customers plan ahead and choose to travel via Swartz Bay to the Southern Gulf Islands.

Further north, sailings between Hornby, Denman and Vancouver Islands were also cancelled on Monday morning.

CBC News

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