A plow clears snow from the parking lot at Tyler’s No Frills in Port Alberni on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Wet, white and windy winter weather hits Port Alberni

Snow expected to turn to rain on Thursday

Port Alberni may not have been hit with the same levels of snow that the east coast of Vancouver Island saw on Wednesday, Jan. 15, but it was still white, wet and windy.

School District 70 was one of the few to keep schools open on Wednesday. While some families kept their kids at home for an impromptu snow day, others hit the popular toboggan hill at Gyro Williamson Park along Johnston Road once school let out.

Will the central Island see more snow on Thursday, or will it all turn to rain, as temperatures rise above zero degrees Celsius? Environment Canada had issued a snowfall warning at 5 p.m. Wednesday for up to 15 centimetres overnight before the snow changes to rain.

Environment Canada cautions people that highways, main roads, walkways and parking lots could be difficult to navigate if the snow continues to accumulate. BC Transportation issued a travel advisory advising motorists around southern BC and Vancouver Island to avoid all but essential travel.

Late Wednesday, BC Hydro was dealing with as many as 23,000 people without power on Vancouver Island. Parts of Beaver Creek lost power, and a tree took down lines on Pacific Rim Highway west of Tseshaht Market, blocking the road and knocking out power to places around Sproat Lake.

A family living on Moore Road near Cherry Creek Road was lucky a falling tree missed their house, but it did smash on the roof of an unoccupied fifth wheel trailer on their property.

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