We haven’t even had fall for a week, and already several parts of Alberta are under a winter storm advisory, watch or warning.
Dean Jetten, the operations manager with highway maintenance company Volker Stevin, said driving conditions could be treacherous this weekend.
“There could be a lot of ice out there and visibility could be an issue as well, we are expecting some wind with this storm.”
Jetten said crews stationed throughout the southern and central parts of the province are ready for the weather to take a turn.
“We’re ready for a major storm. What we’ve been seeing on the news, following the radar patterns, watching what the meteorologists are putting out, we have a full complement of equipment ready to go.”
Volker Stevin maintains nearly 30 per cent of Alberta transportation’s infrastructure. Jetten said a huge portion of that is about to get slammed by Mother Nature.
“Right now what it’s looking like is it’s going to be along the mountains and the Foothills so, Canmore, Cochrane, Kananaskis areas, Coalman, Pincher Creek, Waterton, Cardston, possibly even along Warner, Foremost, those are the areas we are expecting to be hit the hardest.”
Weather forecasts predict a varying amount of snowfall for a large portion of Alberta, with a system moving up from the United States that is forecast to stick around for a few days.
“We’re hearing of reports of forecasts saying up to 50 centimetres of snow in places through the weekend and anywhere as little as five centimetres. How much is going to stick on the ground is dependent on the temperature,” Jetten added.
Street clearing preparations are also in full swing within the city of Lethbridge. Transportation operations manager Adam Campbell said priority one routes like Whoop Up and Mayor Magrath will be the first ones crews tackle.
“We are mostly ready to go in terms of all of our equipment and all of our staff. I don’t think this weekend has anything it can throw at us that we can’t handle.”
It’s not just road crews on high alert, so is air travel. WestJet issued winter storm system advisories for Lethbridge and Calgary on Friday, for those travelling over the weekend.
Jetton said if you don’t need to be on the roads, don’t. Avoid travel if you can, but if you can’t, he said to be cautious and courteous of snow plows and crews working to clear roads.
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