District of Saanich Plow
(image via District of Saanich)

The winter season kicked off on the Island with a proper winter storm on Monday, leading to widespread power outages and traffic incidents.

Conditions persisted into Tuesday morning, with thousands still without power on the South Island and icy roads and trails remaining an issue for commuters.

The CRD said crews were out sanding and de-icing bridges and steep areas on the Galloping Goose, E&N Rail Trail and Lochside high use areas.

The District of Saanich and Saanich Police both tweeted warnings for drivers to be careful on the roads despite indications of an early thaw, saying that residential roads could be slippery.

The District added that garbage and organics collection was on hold with Hartland landfill closed due to a fallen tree blocking access to the road.

Meanwhile, thousands of customers were still without power in areas including Duncan, Saanich, Victoria and Langford.

BC Hydro said crews had made good progress throughout the night repairing damage, but would be continuing to work this morning.

“The hardest hit area continues to be primarily in Duncan, Victoria and Salt Spring Island and we have additional crews assisting with restoration efforts in the area,” BC Hydro said on their website. “Thanks for your patience.”

As of this publication Tuesday morning, 13,420 BC Hydro customers are still without power on Vancouver Island.

Environment Canada said that the storm dropped about 5 centimetres of snow in Victoria, 8 centimetres in North Cowichan, 13 centimetres in Nanaimo, and 20 centimetres in Malahat.

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