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Lethbridge digs out after fall snowstorm

Lethbridge digs out after record snowstorm
WATCH ABOVE: The city of Lethbridge is finding its footing in knee-deep snow after a record-setting storm hit the city this weekend. Nearly the entire city was shut down in a snow day on Monday, as crews worked to clear streets and sidewalks. As Emily Olsen reports, the work isn’t over.

Lethbridge is finally digging itself out, after major snowfall stopped the city in its tracks over the weekend.

Monday morning saw residents wading through knee and sometimes thigh high snow drifts.

City crews struggled to keep up with the flurries but on Monday afternoon, finally seemed to find their footing.

“It seems like we’d go over it, 30 minutes later it’d be completely covered again and need another plow,” transportation operations manager Adam Campbell said.

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“It was quite the weekend for us. It just seemed like we couldn’t really get ahead. I think in general we made it. I know it wasn’t perfect in terms of driving conditions but it could have been a lot worse.”

READ MORE: Southern Alberta snow storm hammers rural areas

The snow day was widespread. 

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Both the university and college shut down operations, Park Place Mall was completely closed Monday, and police stopped responding to non-emergency calls on Sunday night.

Heavy snow also weighed down tree branches and awnings, causing multiple power outages across the city.

READ MORE: Sunday marked Calgary’s snowiest September day in history

“Even today we’re seeing outages through the morning. We’re able to resolve those outages. Typically in 1-2 hours we’ve got those taken care of,” electric utility manager Stewart Parkis said.

“But I want to make sure that the public understands to not approach a down tree, particularly a down tree around a power line.”

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READ MORE: Winter driving conditions in Calgary amid snowfall warning

Doug Kaup, head of city water and wastewater, says the expected slow increase in temperature over the week may prove to be a stroke of luck in avoiding flooding and freezing.

“If we had plus 20 [degrees Celsius] tomorrow morning then we’d definitely be seeing some serious flash melting, but because it’s gonna be cooler, the system will have time to react,” he said.

Kaup says people in areas with heavy snowfall should still take care to direct melting water toward storm drains, and prevent flooding by ensuring that snow and ice are not blocking the flow.