The forecast has become a little more fierce.
Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning for the east coast of Vancouver Island at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The warning encompasses Duncan to Campbell River.
“Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions,” the warning notes.
An additional 15 to 25 centimetres of snow is expected to fall late this afternoon and tonight, with winds rising in excess of 70 kilometres per hour tonight, Environment Canada forecasts.
“Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow,” the warning notes. “If you must travel, keep others informed of your schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit and mobile phone.”
Precipitation may change to rain overnight near the coast, according to Environment Canada, but areas inland and at higher elevations are expected to see continued heavy snow until Thursday morning.
B.C. Hydro sent out an information bulletin Wednesday afternoon encouraging customers to be prepared for possible weather-related power outages.
“While we prepare for storm season year-round, we’ve taken extra measures ahead of this particular storm, and crews are on standby to restore power should the lights go out,” B.C. Hydro notes.
The utility says it is difficult to predict how much damage a storm will cause and said it’s important that people have an emergency kit ready with a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, three days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water.
The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure extended its travel advisory Wednesday afternoon due to “extreme winter weather conditions.”
The advisory applies to the Trans-Canada Highway from Nanaimo to Victoria, the Island Highway to Tsitika about 100km north of Campbell River, and Highway 4 west to Taylor River.
“Those who must travel are asked to use extreme caution,” the advisory notes. “All motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and drive according to weather and road conditions, slowing down when they encounter bad weather or limited visibility.”