Snow continues falling in Saskatchewan.
Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for areas across the province including Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Cypress Hills.
Meteorologist Jason Knight said Saskatoon likely set a record Wednesday, getting 20 centimetres of snow. An additional 5 cm fell overnight, he said.
The snowfall is significantly heavier than what was expected earlier this week. Knight said this is because the weather system bringing the snow changed course on its way out of the province.
“The system changed track very slightly. Rather than moving eastward yesterday toward the end of the day it kind of lingered in the area and just gave that extra 10 or 15 centimetres yesterday afternoon through this morning. It’s really putting the numbers over the top,” he said.
According to Knight, you have to go way back in the record book to find a snowfall like this one.
“At least 50 years. I think this is probably since records began in Saskatoon in the 1800’s.”
Knight said about 30 centimetres of snow could hit the ground before tapering off to light flurries later Thursday.
Knight added the snow should melt away, but a white Thanksgiving is a guarantee.
“Sunday is the first day we’ll really start to see temperatures bounce back, but they’re going to be hovering in the low single digits for a while, so the melt will be slow.”
CITY OF SASKATOON CREWS WORK THROUGH NIGHT
The City of Saskatoon reported that equipment was kept out all night Wednesday, focusing on plowing and salting Circle Drive and other higher-speed roads. Near the end of their shift, they were diverted to outlying parts of the city where blowing snow had roads down to one lane.
On Thursday morning, city crews were continuing to focus on high-volume streets.
14 graders, six plows, five sanders and five sidewalk plows were reported to be in operation.
The city also indicated it had activated sidwwalk clearing and grading contracts it has with private companies, including ASL, Acadia, Lafarge and ULS.
Saskatoon Police issued a media release urging drivers to slow down and give themselves extra time to get to their destinations.
HIGHWAY ROAD REPORT
The Highway Hotline issued travel advisories across the province Thursday morning due to ice covered and slushy conditions.
In the Saskatoon area, portions of Highway 16, east and west of the city were not recommended for travel, as were Highways 41 and Highway 5.
There were long delays early this morning on Highway 11 near the Blackstrap hill. Northbound traffic was blocked after reports of a jack knifed semi blocking both lanes. Shaun told the Brent Loucks Show he had been waiting for nearly an hour.
“A few trucks that are spun out at the bottom. Tow trucks were getting them out of the way and salt trucks are going to spread some salt I guees.”
RCMP COLLISION NUMBERS
RCMP detachments around the province were responding multiple minor collisions on the province’s roads and highways on Wednesday.
Weather has played a factor in them, with vehicles slipping off of the roads.
As of 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the RCMP responded to 46 calls.
RCMP have said there have not been any major collisions to report at this point. In some cases, traffic has been temporarily diverted, but no road closures have been reported.
The weather forced many school buses to remain parked in the Prairie Spirit School Division. Only buses in Martensville and Warman were running normally Thursday.