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Highways maintenance contractor issues winter driving warning

Nasty weather could turn highways into skating rinks.

Depending on who you talk to, fluctuation in the temperature, combined with precipitation, could turn highways in the West Kootenay into skating rinks said Marc Dale of Yellowhead Road & Bridge Ltd.

Dale sent out a media release advising the public the next few days could be a nightmare on local highways.

"We have a short term forecast of temperatures between 0 and plus 3 with precipitation that will be either wet slushy snow,  rain, or freezing rain," Dale explained.

"This will create flash freezing at higher elevation areas and spot freezing throughout our area as well as dense fog."

Dale said it takes very little freezing rain to be a problem so the public should monitor temperatures and be prepared for fast changing road conditions, and low visibility due to fog.
 
"We are expecting rain in the valley and as temperatures change overnight and at higher elevation rain could change to freezing rain and wet heavy snow," he said.
 
"At the present time all the main highways are generally bare and wet which also attracts wildlife for the salt on the roadway so please be aware when driving at night."
 
Dale is advising drivers to use extreme caution travelling highway passes like the Kootenay Pass or Paulson tonight and throughout the morning commute when temperatures will be conducive to freezing conditions.

"Please Drive to conditions, be prepared for the unexpected with these temperatures and allow extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you," he said.

Environment Canada is calling for snow accumulations into Wednesday, with highs of plus 3C.

Anyone having concerns with highways should call toll free at 1-888-352-0356 and monitor Drive BC  for the latest conditions and warnings.