CALGARY — People in Calgary are digging out from the snowiest October day in 104 years — a new record.
Roads and highways in and around the city Tuesday were covered in heavy, wet snow with more expected overnight.
Parts of Calgary reported snowfall amounts of up to 40 centimetres in a 12-hour period with similar amounts in the mountain parks and other areas of southern Alberta.
Calgary police reported 251 collisions and dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed at Calgary International Airport.
At one point 80 transit buses were stuck or stalled on slippery streets. Officials say the buses are not equipped with snow tires.
To help Calgary dig out of the mess, the City of Edmonton sent 30 snowplows to assist its neighbour.
Red Deer and Medicine Hat were also sending equipment to Calgary.
“We’re dealing with an unseasonably harsh dose of winter very early in our season,” Tom Sampson, chief of Calgary’s Emergency Operations Centre said.
RCMP said icy roads may have been a factor in a fatal two-vehicle crash in Rocky View County. A 45-year-old Airdrie man died of his injuries in hospital.
People were being urged to stay home and cautioned to keep off of roads.
Environment Canada warned that the heavy wet snow may cause some trees to break.
The snow was expected to taper off Tuesday night and clear out of the region by Wednesday.
RCMP say the Trans-Canada Highway west of Calgary was in poor condition and drivers were being asked to avoid travel in the area if possible.
Vehicles were in the ditches and highway crews and tow trucks were trying to clear them out.
Some Calgary residents took the storm in stride.
A video posted on social media showed a cross-country skier gliding along a downtown sidewalk.
Photos released by the Calgary Zoo showed its pandas, who arrived at the zoo in May, frolicking in the frosty flakes.
(CTV Calgary, CFFR, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press