A major snow storm hit the greater Vancouver area today. It started snowing about 1pm and it didn’t stop until well into the evening. In my area, I heard it accumulated anywhere between 12 to 18 centimeters but it could have been more.
I live about ten blocks from a major bridge in the area. It spans the Fraser River and on an average days thousands of vehicles cross that bridge. From my apartment, I can see the main road that feeds into the bridgeway. Around 2pm traffic started to really back on that road though it was still moving. At about 4pm it crawled to a standstill. It got to the point that there was no discernible movement of any cars. It stayed that way for hours.
At around 11:30pm, I went for a walk just to see how bad it was. It was like a parking lot essentially for as far as I could see. Many people had shut off their cars and were just waiting, looking at their phones. Someone was on foot, going car to car, handing out granola bars from a large box of them. If I had to guess, some of these people had been waiting in their vehicles for five or six hours now, possibly even longer.
I read on the city’s official social media accounts that the bridge was closed for hours due to stalled vehicles and unsafe road conditions. A further update after midnight indicated the bridge was not open in both directions. It’s now well after 2am and I can see there is still a massive lineup of cars waiting to get onto the bridge. It looks like it’s the peak of rush on a long weekend out there and it’s 2am.
There is another major bridge near me but five or six kilometers away but I can see the red lights of stopped cars waiting to get on that bridge from even where I am. These cars are so far from the bridge.
I cannot imagine how many experiences of hardship occurred tonight. People who are tired and hungry, stuck in their vehicles for nearly half a day. They have my deep sympathy and I wish I could have done something to help.