Surrey and Delta residents may have been prepared for another day of snow as they drove to work on Wednesday, but it's unlikely they expected the chaos that ensued throughout the day.
Bridge closures, power outages and traffic snarls were the order of the day as up to 20 centimetres of snow fell on Surrey and North Delta.
The newly-opened Port Mann Bridge was closed both ways Wednesday afternoon after ice began falling from the suspension cables onto cars below.
"The closure was necessary because falling ice from the bridge injured a motorist who required ambulance attendance," said Sgt. Peter Thiessen, spokesman for the RCMP's Lower Mainland District Traffic Services.
"The bridge was closed for safety reasons, and will be re-opened as soon as the weather situation improves."
Surrey resident Ed Hiemstra was driving across the Port Mann when his car was struck by a falling piece of ice.
"It took out the front windshield on the passenger's side," said Hiemstra, who was sitting in slow-moving traffic beneath the bridge's suspension cables when it happened.
"All of a sudden, 'Bam!' The windshield went out. I haven't looked at the roof, but the windshield's out for sure."
B.C. Minister of Transportation Mary Polak was in transit at press time and couldn't be reached.
Kate Trotter, a spokeswoman for the ministry, said engineers would examine the bridge in light of what's happened.
"There was a policeman at the end of the white cables handing out ICBC cards, let's put it that way," said Hiemstra.
Elsewhere in Surrey, power outages left more than 8,600 customers in the dark for part of Wednesday afternoon after snow buildup caused power lines to fall, said Simi Heer of BC Hydro.
Power was expected to be restored by Wednesday night.
While Tuesday was relatively quiet in terms of traffic incidents, Wednesday's heavier snowfall led to more than a few jams around Surrey.
"There was definitely a lot of traffic based on road conditions and weather conditions, but no serious crashes or injuries," said Cpl. Bert Paquet of the Surrey RCMP.
According to Paquet, while the traffic was moving very slowly all over the region, drivers seemed to be able to cope with the conditions.
In Delta, police were chasing after all kinds of fender benders. There was also two power outages.
"Lots of cars are getting stuck," Const. Ciaran Feenan said. "It's creating congestion and traffic delays everywhere."
There were numerous bus delays throughout Surrey and Delta, with some buses running up to 30 minutes behind schedule.
"It's been a heck of a day out there," TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said Wednesday afternoon.
Zabel said it was a struggle to keep the buses moving. Some had to be diverted and Scott Road, River Road and 112th Street in North Delta posed a particular challenge. SkyTrain, in contrast, was "not bad" as the tracks were clean and clear.
According to Environment Canada, rain is expected for today and is expected to continue off and on until early next week.
As for Christmas on Tuesday, Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said there's a "good storm" on the way, but that in all likelihood it will be a rain storm with no snow.
-With files from Vancouver Sun
© Copyright 2013