Edmontonians got a real taste of Old Man Winter on Saturday. The city was hit with an average of 30 centimetres of fresh snow, which started falling on Friday afternoon and isn’t expected to stop until Sunday.
The heavy snowfall has wreaked havoc on motorists, many of whom found themselves stuck in the white stuff.
"I got stuck at about quarter after 8 this morning," said Terry Able. "I still have to go to work, but I don’t know if I’m actually going to be able to do it today. I want to get out of Alberta so bad because of the weather."
The tow truck that was helping pull Able’s car out of the snow almost got stuck. But Able was lucky that she even got a tow truck to come out, because later in the day there was a 17 hour wait for AMA, which received almost 2,000 calls for help across the province since Friday afternoon.
"We started to see the call volume get more and more as the day progressed," said Randy Loyk, Manager of Technical Services at the AMA. "A lot of people hitting the ditch because they were going too fast for the road conditions."
Some of the stranded motorists have been getting rescued by kind strangers passing by. "Thought I’d stop and see if i could help somebody out," said Noah Faustmann.
As for the city, it’s all hands on deck. More than 100 crews are clearing Edmonton’s main streets, and more graters are expected to hit the road at midnight.
"The game plan will remain the same, we’ll keep doing the arterials and the collectors and then we’ll look at the residential areas," said Bob Dunford, Director of Roadway Maintenance.
Meanwhile at the Edmonton International Airport, 19 crews worked on clearing the runways – a job normally reserved for only 8 crews.
"We prepared in advance," said Sarah Meffen, spokesperson for the Edmonton International Airport. "We knew the storm was coming and we have all hands on deck."
With a snowfall warning still in effect for the greater Edmonton region, and another 10 or more centimetres of snow expected by Sunday, the situation won’t get better overnight. There is currently a tow ban in effect in the Leduc area, and AMA is advising motorists to stay off the roads.
You can keep track of flight delays and the changing forecast on our website.