Winter storm hits British Columbia and Alberta, leaving 2 dead, 75 000 without power

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Heavy snow and freezing rain caused extensive damage to power lines across British Columbia and Alberta, Canada on December 19, 2017, leaving 75 000 customers without power. At least two people were killed in southern Alberta.

According to BC Hydro, the hardest hit areas were Vancouver Island communities of Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan after heavy, wet snow and freezing rain caused extensive damage to power lines, poles and transformers.

Snow was falling at a rate of 10 to 12 cm (3.9 to 4.7 inches) per hour in some areas of the province, resulting in poor road conditions, the Transportation Ministry said, as quoted by CTVNews.

In southern Alberta, two people were killed in separate crashes Tuesday. The first crash happened about 15:30 local time, when an SUV traveling south on Highway 2 rolled near the Crossfield turnoff, just north of Calgary, and landed on its roof.

About an hour later, an SUV traveling on Stoney Trail hit a pole near Highway 22X. Four men believed to be in their 20s were taken to hospital where one later died, CBC reports.

According to police reports, there were 85 crashes reported between 12:00 and 16:45 local time.

Drivers are advised to check conditions of highways before heading out. Homeowners are reminded it is their responsibility to clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties within 24 hours after the snow has stopped. 

Featured image: Snow in British Columbia, Canada on December 19, 2017. Credit: WestCoastOne

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