Calgary roads still a mess after Environment Canada’s snow warning ends

Click to play video: 'Snowy weather continues to cause issues on Calgary roads'
Snowy weather continues to cause issues on Calgary roads
WATCH: Snow in Calgary caused some major issues on the roads both inside and outside of the city. Adam MacVicar reports. – Oct 24, 2023

A blast of wintry weather has left roads in and around Calgary a snow- and ice-covered challenge to navigate and resulted in hundreds of collisions.

A winter snow advisory has ended for the City of Calgary, with Environment Canada warning of up to 25 centimetres of heavy snow falling by Tuesday.

The warning ended just after 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Freezing rain and then snow fell on the city throughout Monday, resulting in 279 collisions, 36 of which involved injuries. On Tuesday, 273 collisions were reported to police before 4 p.m., 16 of which included injuries.

Midday Tuesday, westbound Stoney Trail Northwest between Shaganappi Trail Northwest and Sarcee Trail Northwest was closed to traffic, as crews worked to clear an ongoing traffic incident.

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The weather agency said snowfall amounts may vary significantly as some of the snow will melt on contact with the warm ground, with western parts of the province expected to see the most snow.

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Calgary officials said city crews are working around the clock to respond to the snow, and are applying material to help minimize icy buildup.

“What we’re finding on the roads as of the afternoon on Tuesday is that on our major roads, there’s some partial snow cover, but our crews have done a really good job of applying material, plowing those through lanes,” Chris McGeachy with the city’s mobility department said. “When you’re headed home, you’re probably going to notice snowy build-up on the side streets. It does take us a little while to get into them.

“And it’s still snowing, so we haven’t even started our snow clock yet.”

Once the snow lets up, the “snow clock” starts ticking.

Click to play video: 'First blast of winter hits Calgary leading to traffic troubles'
First blast of winter hits Calgary leading to traffic troubles

Within the first 18 hours, the city aims to have the major routes like Crowchild Trail or Glenmore Trail cleared and have traction-aiding material put down.

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In hours 18 to 36, city snow crews head onto high-volume routes that go into communities, routes that often have transit use.

Click to play video: 'Career drivers share their stress as snowfall snarls Calgary traffic'
Career drivers share their stress as snowfall snarls Calgary traffic

On days three to seven after the snow stops, the city works on lower-volume routes and duties like removing snow and ice that has built up in intersections along major routes, finishing work in areas like on/off ramps and turning lanes on major routes, and leveling ruts in residential areas as needed.

The city said additional contracted resources have been activated to help respond to the snow.

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“We want to remind people, particularly in the evening commute, after the sun has gone down and before it comes up in the morning, there are areas where ice may form. Those can include bridge decks, hills, intersections,” McGeachy said. “The best advice we can give is just leave yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to go, leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.”

Click to play video: 'School bus crash leaves 5 students, 1 adult injured near Didsbury'
School bus crash leaves 5 students, 1 adult injured near Didsbury

Environment Canada warned visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

Highways surrounding the city had numerous collisions, including a jack-knifed semi that temporarily closed the QEII highway north of Calgary.

RCMP said there were more than 277 weather-related collisions reported across Alberta on Monday.

On Tuesday, highways around the city were listed on the province’s highway condition 511 service as partially or covered in snow and ice.

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–with files from The Canadian Press

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