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Snowy commute causes chaos on Surrey roads during Tuesday night storm

Crashes and tie-ups lead to hours-long commutes for some unlucky drivers
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A TransLink shuttle bus crashes into a line of pulled-over vehicles during a snow storm Tuesday night on 160 Street between 28 and 30 Avenue in South Surrey. (Erica Kreeft/Facebook photo)

It was a slippery, snowy commute for many Peninsula drivers Tuesday night, as the season’s first snowfall caused chaos on several main roads and routes.

Along a snowy white stretch of 160th Street in South Surrey, resident Erica Kreeft shared video of a multi-vehicle incident to Facebook that went viral on several social media platforms.

As one car slides and smashes into another, the video culminates with a TransLink shuttle bus honking its horn before it crashes into the car at the back of the line of pulled-over vehicles, causing more crunching and crumpling of all the vehicles involved.

In the video, people at the multi-crash scene can be heard questioning why the road wasn’t plowed or salted/sanded.

City of Surrey crews were busy before the snowfall, through the night and into Wednesday morning, preparing for the onslaught by brining streets beforehand with a salt water, or brine, solution.

“It was a busy night across the region,” said City of Surrey streets manager Matt Brown.

“We brined over 1,200 lane kilometres… it helps increase our response time.”

Road crews had 54 pieces of snow-fighting equipment deployed prior to the late afternoon snowfall and, as soon as the snow started falling around 2 p.m., road crews worked around the clock to plow the snow away and salt more than 4,000 kilometres of roads, according to the city.

“We used over 2,500 metric tonnes of salt and cleared over 5,000 kilometres of roads,” Brown said.

The city prioritizes certain routes and roads for snow removal in three different levels and even features a snowplow tracker on its website, surrey.ca/snow, where residents can find out about priority routes and how they can help when winter weather strikes.

READ ALSO: Winter tires required on majority of B.C. highways until end of March

In White Rock, RCMP had a relatively quiet night despite the snow, with only one reported collision at Archibald Road and Sunset Drive, where a vehicle went into a shed in someone’s yard.

Still, it serves as a reminder to be prepared for winter driving when snowy or icy conditions are expected, noted White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls.

“The biggest thing in snowy conditions is to have winter tires,” he said.

Not only are winter tires key, it remains important to give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going and to drive with patience and caution, especially when adverse weather is forecast.



Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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