Snow accumulates along Stewart Avenue in Nanaimo on Tuesday morning. (Nicholas Pescod/News Bulletin)

Caution urged on Nanaimo roads after 16 Monday crashes

Vancouver Island University closing, bus service affected as snow continues to blanket community

Nanaimo drivers are making their way slowly around the city after a second day of snowfall.

Monday proved challenging for motorists as Nanaimo RCMP report that there were 16 crashes, with just one resulting in minor injuries.

“Drive with caution, leaving plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front,” noted a social media post from Nanaimo RCMP.

Schools are open and RDN Transit buses are running, with modifications to Route No. 5 and Route No. 99.

The No. 5 heading downtown won’t service Third Street and Howard Avenue, according to a social media post. From Vancouver Island University, it will use Wakesiah Avenue to Third, Howard and Albert Street. There will be regular routing on buses headed away from downtown.

The No. 99 won’t service the Seaview, Longview and Kopina areas due to the weather, the post said.

VIU announced that its Nanaimo and Cowichan campuses, the Cowichan Trades, Parksville-Qualicum and G.R. Paine Horticultural centres, Milner Gardens and woodland will close at 12:30 p.m. In addition, all classes and exams are cancelled.

The City of Nanaimo posted on social media that crews are plowing and salting emergency routes. The city advised that roads are covered with ice and asks drivers to use “extreme care and caution on the road.”

Garbage and recyclable collection are also cancelled for today and the city asks residents to bring their bins inside to make room for snowplows. Collection for RDN residents living in Lantzville, Benson Meadows, East Wellington and Nanoose Bay areas is also cancelled.

Mayor Leonard Krog, at Monday’s city council meeting, spoke about the snowfall during his mayor’s report, saying that city workers will be focused on “priority 1 and 2 routes,” meaning it could take four days for crews to get to residential areas.

“So we’re asking … [residents] to take extra caution when you’re driving, walking or cycling,” Krog said. “Roads and sidewalks can be slippery during and after a snowfall, obviously, and that means everyone must take their own extra care in their daily commutes.”

The mayor thanked city work crews and emergency services for helping to keep people safe in winter weather.

According to Environment Canada, the Duncan to Nanaimo area is forecast to see between 10 to 15 cm of snow with snow easing Wednesday morning.

RELATED: More snow, Arctic inflow on the way for B.C.’s south coast

RELATED: Environment Canada forecasting more snow for Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Six vehicles involved in crash on Nanaimo’s Needham Street

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