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Over 360 crashes in Edmonton over snowy weekend

WATCH ABOVE: It's a snowy, messy morning. Here's Kevin O'Connell's Saturday, November 9, 2019 weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.

We knew it was coming, and now winter weather is here.

Across northern and central Alberta on Friday night, rain turned to snow as the temperature dropped overnight, leaving roads slick before becoming covered in the white stuff.

Edmonton police say between Friday and Sunday evening, a total of 363 collisions took place around the city.

Between 7 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, 176 collisions were reported to Edmonton police, 24 of which were hit and runs and 13 of which caused injuries. Half of the crashes occurred Saturday afternoon.

Between Saturday evening and Sunday at noon, another 123 occurred. Police said that nine of those were hit and runs, and eight caused injuries.

From noon until 5 p.m. Sunday, another 64 collisions took place, injuring 2 people.

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READ MORE: Edmonton declares parking ban starting Sunday evening after major snowfall

The City of Edmonton said in the days leading up to the snowfall, sand and salt were applied to priority areas like hills and intersections.

Edmonton hit with November snowstorm
Edmonton hit with November snowstorm

Around 500 field staff and 130 plows make up the city’s winter road maintenance team, and when a snowfall occurs, they work using a hierarchy that prioritizes busier parts of the city such as freeways, roads within the designated business improvement areas, and transit routes.

“We have all available staff in working, we have approximately 100 plows out on the road right now and then we have an entire active pathways team out working on all of those stairs, sidewalks, multi-use trails, bike lanes and all the inventory throughout the city,” Grant said Saturday afternoon.

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The city can also call in contracted help, which would add up to an additional 300 road graders and 260 dump trucks to assist in the clearing.

READ MORE: Grading graders: How does Edmonton snow clearing compare to other Canadian cities?

Roads remained slick on Saturday. On the QEII southbound, an ETS bus was spotted in the ditch by several drivers.

An Edmonton Transit Service bus on the ditch along the QEII south of the city on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
An Edmonton Transit Service bus on the ditch along the QEII south of the city on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Supplied

A snowfall warning issued by Environment Canada Friday carried on into Saturday. It was dropped for the city itself in the late afternoon, but remained for all areas to the west.

The Edmonton area is expected to see between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow, which the national weather agency said would continue throughout the day and into the night, becoming heavy at times.

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A second round of snow is expected Saturday evening and will bring an additional 5 to 10 centimetres for areas west and south of Edmonton, Environment Canada said.

READ MORE: What to do when waiting for a tow truck

Hazardous winter conditions are expected. The rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult, so Environment Canada advised drivers to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.

READ MORE: 5 things to do if you’re in a car crash

Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer said to expect a brutal temperature drop by Sunday morning. Edmonton could be below -20 C.

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One of the best ways to track locally hazardous driving conditions is from local viewer reports. The #yegtraffic hashtag is often used by Twitter users reporting traffic issues within Edmonton.

If safe to do so, share your weather photos with us via the Global Edmonton Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also post updates from your community using the hashtags #yegwx and #abstorm.

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android.