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Photos: Overnight snowfall encourages Tri-Cities to stay home, off the roads

Patience will be tested as city crews across the region work to clear priority routes.

Let it snow, indeed.

Mother Nature provided a healthy dump of snow while the Tri-Cities slept through Monday night (Dec. 19) and early into Tuesday morning (Dec. 20), forcing snow crews to work around the clock to try and clear the roads.

But when they finished, most had to go back out.

According to the City of Coquitlam, as much as 30 cm of snow accumulated at higher elevations overnight, making the task the plowing Priority One routes extra daunting to clear.

"....with a lot of hills in our city, this was no easy task," reads a social media post. "Remember, just because a road isn't bare pavement does not mean it hasn't been plowed."

Delays, delays, delays

Environment Canada's snowfall warning for the Tri-Cities is set to continue for most of Tuesday as a result of a low pressure system moving north from Washington state.

Morning commutes have been impacted in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, as well as all of Metro Vancouver, including what are expected to be "considerable delays" and some cancellations on transit.

TransLink explains buses and SkyTrains are primarily affected and will see the most significant service issues.

HandyDART, meanwhile, is prioritizing customers with medical appointments.

BC Ferries has cancelled several sailings, while Vancouver International Airport issued mass cancellations overnight from incoming flights due to the storm.

In Port Coquitlam, the city has mobilized all of its equipment to clear roads as quickly as possible, which includes members of its parks department for extra support.

"If you do not have to go out please stay home and stay safe and warm. We encourage everyone to stay off the roads if you can."

Mayor Brad West adds, as of 7 a.m., more than 20 cm of snow has fallen and urges patience for local residents as it could take some time for snow removal teams to get to Priority Two and Three routes.

Port Moody says it has four plows out clearing snow and salting roads, as of this publication, and notes Priority Two routes will be tended to "when conditions allow."

How long will this last?

The snow is predicted to taper off by the afternoon, according to Environment Canada, when conditions turn to partly cloudy skies.

However, temperatures are expected to drop to -14 C with wind chill in the evening and even lower to -20 C overnight.

Wednesday (Dec. 21) is set to see mainly sunny skies and 30 km/h winds that'll see the mercury reach as high as -10 C - but that will feel like -20 C.

The colder weather is also the result of a Siberian glacial air mass that's hovered over B.C. for the last few days.

For drivers that must go out on the roads are encouraged to proceed with extra caution as conditions could change in an instant on highways and major routes.

Commuters are also asked to stay on alert for pedestrians, as well as all city vehicles working to clear the snow.

"Drivers can assist maintenance crews by moving over safely when they see a vehicle with an amber light approaching," reads a B.C. government news release in response to the snowfall.

"This allows maintenance crews to clear the snow and improve road conditions to reduce hazards for drivers."