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B.C. braces for more snow, winds and ice in Wednesday storm
Another storm is set to hit across B.C. Wednesday afternoon, bringing high winds, snow and possibly ice into Thursday.
Environment Canada's storm and snowfall warnings stretch from parts of Vancouver Island to the Interior. British Columbians were to expect snow on Wednesday but it will change to freezing rain, followed by heavy downpours as conditions warm up.
Forecaster Greg Pearce says the heaviest snow will arrive late Wednesday with some areas of the Fraser Canyon and Coquihalla Summit possibly seeing as much as 50 centimetres before Thursday.
Up to 60 centimetres is expected to fall on the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler.
In Greater Victoria, snow will persist longer and the chance of freezing rain will increase overnight. Snowfall amounts will vary considerably across the region, from five to 15 cm near the coast, and 20 cm or more inland.
In the Columbia and Kootenay regions, total snowfall of 30 to 40 cm is expected.
Several school districts have already announced a snow day on Thursday, and university campuses are closing for the rest of Wednesday before the worst of it hits.
Bridge maintenance crews are gearing up for the afternoon commute in the Lower Mainland. A helicopter remains on standby for the Alex Fraser Bridge to blast the snow off the cables if needed. If so, the bridge may be closed for two to three hours.
Over the border, Whatcom County has also declared a weather emergency. Bellis Fair Mall is closing at 5 p.m.
Preparing for power outages
BC Hydro has released a set of tips for residents to prepare for potential power outages.
RELATED: B.C. Hydro outage map (Interactive)
"If freezing rain hits, expect that there will be power outages and that BC Hydro crews will be busy fixing them," staff said in a news release.
People are encouraged to have emergency supplies ready, including flashlights, blankets and something to eat, "like granola bars."
When power outages are reported, BC Hydro sends crews to disruptions that affect the most people.
For up-to-date weather information, stay tuned to your Black Press community newspaper’s website.
With files from The Canadian Press