Heavy snowfall created treacherous road conditions across the Shuswap on Tuesday, Dec. 31. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Downed tree closes westbound lane on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm

AIM Roads calls North Okanagan and Shuswap highways hazardous, advises against travel

Heavy snowfall has created treacherous road conditions across the Shuswap as road maintenance crews struggle to keep up.

Drive BC reports a downed tree has closed the westbound lane of Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm, between Canoe Beach Drive NE and Bernie Road. Emergency vehicles are on scene and an assessment is in progress.

Compact snow on the Trans-Canada Highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous and the slick conditions have been a challenge for motorists, particularly transport truck drivers.

Reports on social media indicate that traffic is being disrupted on the western edge of Sicamous due to semi trucks having to pull over on the steep hill to put on tire chains

Earlier in the day, semi trucks were reported having similar difficulties on the steep hills in Salmon Arm and on the Trans-Canada Highway near Chase.

Read More: Tree down on highway north of Enderby

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Read More: Outages leave about 13,000 Shuswap homes and businesses without power

Read More: Invasive mussels: Fisheries minister asked to do more to protect Shuswap, Okanagan lakes

Highway maintenance contractor AIM Roads has issued a travel advisory, recommending people in the North Okanagan and Shuswap limit their travel during the intense storm event. AIM notes the snowfall has caused downed power lines, fallen trees and numerous accidents.

“If you must travel, we ask that you please slow down. Reducing speed by 20km/hr will add minutes to your trip but will help keep you safe,” a notice from AIM reads.

The highway maintenance crews are applying salt on the area’s major highways to help remove some of the compact snow, but they note that it can create slushy conditions while the salt works.


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