Saskatoon braces for heavy snowfall, cold temperatures

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As crews prepare for heavy snowfall overnight Friday, the City of Saskatoon has activated its cold weather alert strategy with temperatures set to plunge Sunday. Rebekah Lesko with the details – Feb 1, 2019

Up until this week, Brad Stratychuk would describe this winter as “pretty tame.”

However, Stratychuk, the co-owner of Brad’s Towing, said there has been a big spike in calls for service recently.

READ MORE: Environment Canada issues winter storm and snowfall warnings in Saskatchewan

“With the cold weather, some cars won’t start in the morning, so we’re doing more boosting, a few more unlocks and now with (Friday”s) snow, there’s a lot more stuck calls, cause there hasn’t been enough snow hardly all winter to get stuck,” said Stratychuk.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for parts of central Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and the Battlefords, with 10 to 20 cm of snow expected by Saturday.

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Meanwhile, the east-central portion of the province, including Humboldt, Kamsack, and Yorkton, is under a winter storm warning, with 20 to 30 cm of snow possible.

“During the summer, we average 100 calls a day and in this extreme weather, it can certainly more than double that,” Stratychuk said.

“We had a decent snow event over the Christmas break, but this is certainly, we’re expecting to be the biggest event of the year,” said Brodie Thompson, the city’s director of roadways, fleet and support.

The City of Saskatoon said during the storm, all city resources will be mobilized to clear high-traffic roadways, such as Circle Drive and Idylwyld Drive.

City crews have up to 10 high-speed plows, 31 graders, 20 sanders and 10 sidewalk plows gearing up to go.

“We’d like to remind drivers to adjust their driving habits for the road conditions, and everyone should keep in mind that moving around the city will take some extra time this weekend. For folks travelling outside the city, be sure to check the highway hotline,” Thompson said.

“We want citizens to plan ahead, to think about if they have emergency kits in their car and their homes and to be prepared and think ahead if they need to travel and what that looks like and how they’re going to be safe,” said Pamela Goulden-Mcleod, the city’s emergency planning directors.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon weather outlook: snowiest, coldest days of the year ahead

Saskatoon’s Cold Weather Strategy has also been activated.

“We really want to look after those vulnerable people within our community and ensure they have safe places to go when this kind of weather comes to Saskatoon,” Goulden-Mcleod said.

As part of the strategy, a number of community organizations offer a place to warm-up.

“Citizens can assist by checking on their vulnerable relatives, family members, neighbours. This is a good time for Saskatoon to pull together and look out for each other,” Goulden-Mcleod said.

A list of the warm-up locations around Saskatoon. City of Saskatoon / Supplied

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