Victoria Blizzard – Day 3

Day 2 of the Victoria Blizzard of 2019 was all about the wind. I woke up to a giant dancing tree outside my window, wind howling. Temperatures plummeted to -3 C. The news reported widespread power outages on the island, but none here. A friend from Nanaimo told me 70,000 people were without power Saturday morning. We spent the day mostly indoors for the first time since arriving here, and even Tucker agreed. Work progressed on the puzzle.

Sunday, day 3 of the great Victoria blizzard dawned calmly, no wind, no snow and temperatures hovering around zero. Looks like we survived. We took the truck out for a drive and a bit of spectacular hiking in Sooke. Just as we arrived back to the truck, a few flakes began to fall again. The announcer on the radio was still talking snow storm, whining because she hadn’t seen any snow yet. Such are the drawbacks of Victoria blizzards. Not everyone gets to enjoy them equally.

By late afternoon, the wrath of a Victoria blizzard actually started rearing its head, finally! I could barely see across the street for the snow. The Malahat closed. The Malahat is the north/south Trans Canada highway on the island, and traverses a pass of almost 400 metres (yes, that’s right, not a typo – there is a 400 metre summit here). Most of the highway is single lane and becomes quite dangerous when it snows and gets loaded with inexperienced drivers with ill prepared vehicles.

Over family dinner we listed to the radio reports, and they were hilarious! The Patricia Bay highway closed next, the road that connects Victoria to the ferry terminal and the airport. We are now effectively stranded. Here’s what we heard, “The Malahat is closed, the Patricia Bay highway is closed to Swartz Bay and the Airport, according to google maps.” That’s right, this important weather news is coming directly from … google maps? That didn’t change the fact the people were stranded at the ferry terminal for the night. BC Transit was experiencing severe disruptions, but their website has been down all weekend.  Then there was clarification “the situation is bad in Victoria, even worse in Nanaimo and don’t even think about Parksville.” Dire warnings. 10 to 15 cms of snow predicted overnight. As you can see by the photos below, we fell short here.

When the going gets tough, Manitobans go skiing. We have a chalet booked at Mount Washington this week.  We have to drive the Malahat, and pass through Nanaimo and Parksville.  Will we make it?

 

 

 

The Great Victoria Blizzard of 2019, Day 1
Still Snowing

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