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Update: The Trans-Canada opened between Revelstoke and Craigellachie sometime after 7 p.m. on Sunday. DriveBC is warning of additional snowfall tonight. It's unclear how long this opening will last.
Original story from late Sunday afternoon:
There is faint hope for westbound travellers stuck in Revelstoke due to avalanche conditions on the Trans-Canada Highway. DriveBC is advising of a possible opening of the Trans-Canada later this evening. "Technicians are on site and monitoring," said DriveBC in a post on their website last updated at 4:35 p.m. DriveBC has promised an update at 7 p.m. Previously, the highway was scheduled to be closed until Monday. The situation, however, remains fluid.
Some have opted to take alternate routes. The ferry between Shelter Bay and Galena Bay on Highway 23 had two- or three-sailing waits as of Sunday afternoon.
DriveBC has now announced they've opened the Trans-Canada eastbound from Revelstoke at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
In Revelstoke, the highway closure has affected many. The round-one KIJHL game 7 final between the Revelstoke Grizzlies and the Sicamous Eagles had to be rescheduled until Sunday.
Curlers from the region were swapping the latest highway news at the Revelstoke Curling Club's men's cashspiel on Sunday. Some of the finalists agreed to knock two ends off the match so they could be ready for a possible opening.
In gondolas and on chairlifts, visiting skiers joke about their good fortune being stuck in town during the big snowfall.
The parking lot west of the Columbia River is full of tractor-trailers, and rows of transport trucks line the main arteries around town.
I spoke with one truck driver who was parked next to Woodenhead Park. He was supposed to be going eastbound with a load of new Chevrolet Orlando cars. He told me he'd been Revelstoke for two days. I thought the highway had been open eastbound for a while, I ask. It had, he tells me, but it was snowing heavily at Rogers Pass. Why take the risk, he asks. Advice the nearby Woodenhead statue would likely repeat – the head was originally carved by a Big Bend highway worker. It implored drivers to slow down and not "be a woodenhead."
Environment Canada is warning of another big snowfall on Sunday night and Monday. Here's a warning they issued for the West Columbia at 3:52 p.m. on Sunday:
3:52 PM PST Sunday 04 March 2012
Snowfall warning for West Columbia continued
10 to 20 cm of snow expected tonight and Monday.
This is a warning that significant snowfall is expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions. Listen for updated statements.
A low pressure centre is expected to develop over Southern British Columbia tonight associated with a strong feed of moisture from the Pacific. As precipitation intensity increases, rain or rain mixed with snow that develops this evening will change over entirely to snow late this evening or overnight. Many areas will see 10 to 15 cm of snow with local amounts near 20 cm. As the cold front moves southeast Monday morning, the snow will taper off gradually through the course of the late morning or afternoon.
Over Elk Valley however, the snow will continue through Monday night with total snowfall accumulations of 30 to 50 cm expected by Tuesday morning.