Lake Cowichan saw 36 centimetres of snow fall during last week’s snowstorm on Wednesday and Thursday that closed all the schools in the Cowichan Valley, the most snow accumulation reported on south Vancouver Island.
And it wasn’t over yet as Environment Canada released a snowfall warning for inland Vancouver Island forecasting up to 15 centimetres of snow Friday evening and into Saturday for inland Vancouver Island, including Lake Cowichan.
Temperatures rose in Cowichan Lake on Saturday and the snow eventually changed to rain.
Environment Canada was predicting temperatures to remain about 7 C during the day through the weekend and into this week, with lows of 4 C in the evenings, and the rain will continue through to at least Jan. 24.
As well as the schools, most businesses and organizations in the Cowichan Valley shut their doors Wednesday due to the storm.
The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment reported there were two minor vehicle accidents in the Valley during the storm, on top of the eight weather-related accidents that occurred from Sunday through Tuesday.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure cautioned against non-essential travel on Highway 1, between Nanaimo and Victoria, on Wednesday, as well as sections of Highway 4 and Highway 19, due to ice conditions on the highways.
At least two weather-related accidents occurred at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday on Highway 1 just south of Ladysmith as vehicles slipped on ice.
BC Hydro reported the power had been off for 886 customers at around 4:40 a.m. Wednesday due to the storm.
The outage affected those north of Pinder Place, south of the highway, and west of Garry Oak Road.
Crews had the juice flowing again by 7:50 a.m., but later in the day another outage knocked out power to 1,700 in the Sahtlam area.
The B.C. Office of the Seniors Advocate reminds people that snowy sidewalks, steps and driveways pose risks for seniors, many of who may already experience mobility issues.
“I would ask everyone to watch out for the seniors in their lives and in their neighbourhoods. Please consider clearing the sidewalk and driveway, and perhaps salt the walkways for neighbours who are seniors,” said seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie.
Mackenzie said snowstorms can also disrupt home-care services and the delivery of meals, groceries, and medications.
“It would be helpful to check in on your loved ones who may be facing additional challenges from the snow. If your neighbour is a senior, please knock on their door or give them a call to see if they are OK,” she said.