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Extreme cold in Saskatoon sees some flights cancelled and road crews kept busy

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WATCH ABOVE: A blustery evening of blowing snow followed by extreme cold made for some very slick streets in Saskatoon Thursday. The cold also caused flights to be cancelled, but there is relief in sight starting Friday. Ryan Kessler reports – Jan 12, 2017

The City of Saskatoon is reminding drivers use caution on their Thursday morning commute due to a combination of overnight winds and freezing temperatures.

A blowing snow advisory issued by Environment Canada on Wednesday night has ended but an extreme cold warning is still in effect.

READ MORE: Extreme cold warning continues in Saskatoon for -40 to -50 wind chill

According to city officials, crews were out in force overnight grading, sanding and salting streets. With the frigid temperatures, ice crystals in the air combined with high winds and may still create icy roadways.

“We’re still out in full force with sanding equipment and some liquid salt to try and get some sticky surfaces and keep the traction,”said the city’s director of roadways, Brandon Harris.

Even with the use of salt and sand, extra moisture from snow can cause slippery conditions during peak driving times.

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Drivers are asked to reduce speeds and be cautious, especially while approaching intersections and travelling on priority streets like Circle Drive.

If motorists encounter the blue and amber flashing lights on snow maintenance equipment, they should slow down, remain at least 15 metres behind and be ready to stop.

READ MORE: Whiteout conditions prompt RCMP to advise against travel near Saskatoon

Three departing flights were cancelled at the Saskatoon International Airport Thursday morning.

“Any type of impacts on schedule for airlines cascade into the following and subsequent mornings,”said Saskatoon Airport Authority president and CEO Stephen Maybury.

Intermittent outages on the airports website – unrelated to the weather – compounded the problem.

“We always advise all our guests to check directly with the airlines with respect to travel,”Maybury said.

Rural and wheelchair school bus routes were cancelled Thursday. All buses in the Prairie Spirit School Division were cancelled. Saskatchewan’s French school division also cancelled buses in Saskatoon, along with a number of other communities.

People can report icy locations to the 24-hour customer service centre at 306-975-2476 or email snow@saskatoon.ca.

Travellers are urged by Saskatchewan RCMP to check the Highway Hotline before venturing out on the province’s roads.

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