A hydro pole and a light standard in Qualicum Beach appear to be the only casualties after Tuesday’s snowfall, but police say the unexpected turn in weather caused seven reported collisions and several minor ones.
“A power pole was taken out on Highway 19 at exit 60, there was another accident near Nile Creek on Highway 19A and a roll over on Highway 19A near Bowser,” said Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services NCO Cpl. Mike Elston. “Just driving around I saw a few cars in the ditch too.”
Elston said many of the collisions occurred between Qualicum Beach and Bowser, noting that area is located at a higher elevation making for a heavier snowfall.
“That area also has less traffic and with less traffic the roads stay slushier longer,” Elston said, adding a spike in vehicle collisions often accompanies “unexpected weather events, rain or snow.”
Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Nick Acciavatti said firefighters were kept busy Tuesday responding to at least four MVA (motor vehicle accident) calls due to the snow.
“People are caught off guard by the snow,” said Acciavatti. “We haven’t had a significant snowfall for a while. The key is to slow down and have good tires. Leave a lot of room and pay attention. Drive according to conditions.”
As of Wednesday, there were no snowfall warnings in effect according to Environment Canada for Parksville Qualicum Beach. The Weather Network predicts the next few days should be a mix of sun and clouds.