A snowplow pushes a fallen tree from Highway 4 near Cathedral Grove while a line of eastbound traffic waits Tuesday morning, Dec. 19, 2017. — J.R. Rardon/Black Press

Snowfall wreaks havoc on Highway 4

Port Alberni summit temporarily shut down; trees tumble near Cathedral Grove

Traffic was moving over the Port Alberni summit on Highway 4 Tuesday afternoon after several trucks stuck in heavy, slushy show stopped eastbound traffic and forced many commuters to return to Port Alberni earlier in morning.

DriveBC had removed its warning for the stretch of Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Qualicum Beach by afternoon Tuesday, Dec. 19. Following the initial stoppage of traffic in both lanes of the steep climb between Port Alberni and the summit, commercial truck drivers were required to stop and chain up before travelling the “hump.”

Once the blockage was cleared, motorists continued to experience delays due to a number of fallen trees in and across the highway near Cathedral Grove. Some of the trees had been cut and portions removed from the road, while others were shoved aside by snowplows attempting to stay ahead of the steady snowfall.

Commuters throughout the region are advised to check DriveBC road conditions before heading out Tuesday.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning in effect for east and inland Vancouver Island as of 8:39 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 19).

The weather alert states there will be snow throughout the day and into the night. Ten centimetres of snow is expected near sea level and up to 20 cm is expected in higher terrain throughout the day. The alert also states another two to five centimetres is expected this evening.

Winter tire regulations went into effect Oct. 1.

RELATED: Winter tire rules take effect Oct. 1

Motorists are required to have winter tires when travelling on designated highways around the province. These are marked with signs which are generally posted as motorists approach highway mountain passes or highways that see significant winter conditions or where there is a substantial increase in elevation.

Tires that meet this criteria are those labelled with either the mountain snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) symbol. These symbols are located on the sidewall of the tire. Tires must also be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure put out a reminder Tuesday morning for drivers to make sure their cars are equipped with proper tires.

— Black Press/Parksville Qualicum-Beach News

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Traffic is slow throughout the Parksville Qualicum Beach region Tuesday morning (Dec. 19) due to the snowfall. — Lauren Collins/Black Press

J.R. Rardon photo Traffic on Highway 4 between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni was disrupted when several semi truck-trailer rigs got stuck in the eastbound lanes on the Port Alberni summit ‘hump’ Tuesday morning, Dec. 19.

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