Winter weather has arrived in Nanaimo, ICBC claims spike

By Dan Marshall
December 6, 2016 - 11:55am Updated: December 6, 2016 - 1:33pm

Road conditions on Highway 19 north of Nanaimo on Monday

NANAIMO — Monday brought snow to Nanaimo, and Tuesday started out with an icy commute.

City crews were putting down salt overnight in an effort to make the morning drive more manageable. Nanaimo roads manager David Myles said the central and southern parts of the city were the most affected.

From a Nanaimo RCMP perspective, Const. Gary O'Brien says their officers did have a few incidents to deal with. 

"Throughout the last 24-hours we've had 10 reported motor vehicle incidents," said O'Brien. "Fortunately there were no serious injuries. The most typical was someone who was going too fast for road conditions, was unable to stop and proceeded through an intersection either striking another car or a solid object."

The weather forecast is for clear and cold conditions Tuesday and Wednesday. With temperatures expected below freezing, O'Brien says drivers should be very aware of their surroundings. 

"The roads are very treacherous. A lot of the side roads have not been salted, the major arteries have. That should be expected throughout the day. One of the key factors to keep yourself safe is simply to reduce your speed and drive defensively," said O'Brien.

Everyone has a different comfort level driving in the ice and snow and O'Brien says often it's people driving at vastly different speeds that causes accidents.

"The best thing you can do if you're not comfortable driving in these conditions is just not drive. Unfortunately that's not possible for many people. You have to ensure you have adequate traction on your tires. Reduce your speed and prepare for unexpected breaking," he said.

Thursday the temperature is expected to warm up, but Nanaimo is likely in for a few days of snow that will continue until at least early next week.

On Monday, ICBC’S Dial-a-Claim service answered 4,366 calls. That's a 13 per cent increase in call volume compared to the first Monday of December last year. Eleven per cent of those claims were from Vancouver Island drivers.

'Intense storm' expected to bring heavy snow late Thursday: Environment Canada