Saskatoon services on hold as city faces a wall of snow

Click to play video: 'Snowstorm cleanup in Saskatoon'
Snowstorm cleanup in Saskatoon
WATCH: People in Saskatoon dealing with the aftermath of heavy weekend snowfall that created havoc on commutes -- Erik Bay has more as city crews work to clear the roads. – Mar 4, 2024

Saskatoon received 25 centimetres of snow over the weekend, grinding some of the city’s services to a halt.

Pamela Goulden-McLeod, director of the emergency management organization, said there was a risk that the overnight warming location at St. Mary’s Church Hall wouldn’t be open Sunday night due to staff not being able to get to the building.

“The Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatoon Fire Department arranged to have staff in four-by-four vehicles go pick up the overnight warming location staff and get them to work,” McLeod said.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon battles massive snowfall aftermath'
Saskatoon battles massive snowfall aftermath

The city said the snow has stopped Monday morning, but wind is causing snow drifts and is an additional challenge snow crews face.

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Roughly 40 per cent of priority one streets in the city have been graded.

The city said some of the snow piles can reduce visibility while driving and that while sanding trucks are being deployed throughout the day, many of these roads will be slippery.

All priority one roads are expected to be graded by midnight Monday, with priority two streets expected to be finished by Tuesday at noon.

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The city said priority three streets are expected to be graded by midnight on Thursday with crews working to clear industrial areas after residential zones have been completed. Alley access will be addressed once this is finished.

Removing snow from the city, the final part of the city’s snow response, will be assessed in the coming days.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon snowfall has towing company’s hands full'
Saskatoon snowfall has towing company’s hands full

With snow impacting large swathes of Saskatoon, many services in the city are facing delays or closures.

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Transit services have limited operator access with detours and delays expected, with riders being advised to check the Saskatoon Transit website:

  • Access Transit will continue trips for essential services and medical appointments. Customers are asked to reschedule leisure travel.
  • OnDemand service will operate on cleared roadways that are accessible to operators.
  • The Transit Customer Service Centre will be open for walk-in customers; however customers are asked to call the phone lines if their trip to the Customer Service Centre is not essential. Phone lines (306-975-3100) will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

All leisure centres are closed Monday as well as the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.

The city said indoor rinks may be open due to bookings and Saskatoon Minor Hockey.

The city’s landfill is open, but curbside cart collection is on hold and will be rescheduled for another day.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon services on hold as city faces a wall of snow'
Saskatoon services on hold as city faces a wall of snow

Building and plumbing inspections are also being put on hold.

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Brydon Brunsch, operations manager with Brad’s Towing said the call volume for towing in Saskatoon has been pretty consistent.

“The last 24 or 48 hours has been nonstop,” Brunsch said.

He said there are times where they can’t take calls because of how busy they are.

“We just ask that people are patient and just keep checking in with us and we’ll try to get to you when we can.”

Brunsch noted that even with the big trucks they are running they are still struggling with the back alleys and some of the side streets.

Peter Kreis, the vice-president of operations with CAA Saskatchewan, agreed that call volumes have been higher in Saskatoon, with 542 calls total in the province since Saturday.

“About 205 of those originated in Saskatoon. It’s been very busy,” Kreis said.

He said most of those calls were for winches, with a few of them for tows, but said if the cold weather continues we could see more calls for boosts.

“If you don’t need to be out on the road, stay home.”

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