Alberta experiences dramatic shift in government and weather

WATCH ABOVE: A storm system moved into the Capital Region overnight making for a messy commute  and an issue at Clarke Field. Lisa Wolansky shows us how people are dealing with the spring blast of winter.

EDMONTON — A day after Albertans voted in an NDP majority, ending 44 years of PC governance, parts of the province experienced a major change in weather.

A system moved in to areas of the province overnight, including the Edmonton region.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the Capital Region with 5-10 centimetres of snow expected to fall in the area Wednesday.

Snow and rain is also hitting central Alberta communities such as Camrose and Drayton Valley, as well as sections of northeastern Alberta, including Lloydminster, Cold Lake and Fort McMurray.

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Snow in downtown Edmonton, May 6, 2015. Global News
Snow in downtown Edmonton, May 6, 2015. Global News
Edmonton area residents were dealing with a very snowy "spring" day after a significant snow fall, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Darlene Young, Global News
Deer Mound Dog Park in Strathcona County is covered in snow after Edmonton is hit with a spring snowfall, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Darlene Young, Global News

“This time of year is a busy time for us. We’re trying to do street cleaning and pothole repairs,” said Roland Aitchison, superintendent of operations for Roadway Maintenance with the City of Edmonton.

“This happens every year. We’re prepared, we have our trucks loaded with salt that we can apply to the roads if need be.”

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He added gravel isn’t used for spring snowfalls as the city has already begun its street sweeping.

“Our staff are on various shifts, we’re 24-hour coverage right now and our fleet is fully multi-functional. We can go from street sweeping, pothole repairs to snow removal within half an hour to an hour.”

The city is hopeful it can get back to its normal spring cleaning operations Thursday.

Sgt. Steve Sharpe with the Edmonton Police Service said the biggest issue with spring snowstorms is people often don’t take the time to brush off their vehicles in the morning.

“The bottom line is be prepared for it – mentally certainly – but also when you get out on the roadway,” said Sharpe.

“In the City of Edmonton we do have a typical number of collisions on any given day, but certainly with the visibility being a factor today we can anticipate a slight increase. ”

Global News weather specialist Mike Sobel has suggested much of the snow will melt over the next couple days.

The wind in Edmonton is expected to gust up to 50 km/h, and the temperature will sit at 3°C Wednesday.

The winter-like conditions aren’t expected to last. The temperature will climb to 9°C on Thursday, before increasing to 20°C by Sunday.

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