Heavy snow and the coldest winter weather in 43 years hit the Sunshine Coast Jan. 6, with 15 cm of snow falling in one day. Throughout the Coast, schools were closed by 10:30 a.m.
"We were concerned about kids being able to get home safely," said Natalie Lowe-Zucchet, director of corporate support services for School District 46.
The school district notified parents of the snow day through a phone tree system as well as announcements on Mountain FM, Cable 11 and CBC radio.
Because of dangerously slippery roads, Pender Harbour Secondary School and Madeira Park Elementary School remained closed even after the snow turned to rain on Jan. 7. Halfmoon Bay Elementary School was open, but there was no bus service in Halfmoon Bay because the buses could not safely drive on Redrooffs Road.
"The road conditions were difficult for buses to manoeuvre through," said Lowe- Zucchet.
Heavy, wet snow on the power lines and fallen trees knocked out hydro service to a number of homes during the storm. The power outages hit Sechelt, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Egmont.
The cold snap also caused record-breaking levels of power use throughout the province, risking blackouts in the Interior. While the Sunshine Coast did not face the same threat, B.C. Hydro spokesperson Elisha Moreno asked that people avoid using electricity during the peak use time of 5 to 6 p.m. during cold spells.