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Calgary blanketed in 40 cm of snow as winter storm blows through

Click to play video 'Calgary hit by 20 to 40 cm of snow, police report 75 collisions' Calgary hit by 20 to 40 cm of snow, police report 75 collisions
WATCH: Calgarians have been digging out from 20 to 40 centimetres of snow. Police report there have been over 70 collisions by Tuesday afternoon. Jackie Wilson reports – Dec 22, 2020

Calgarians are waking up to roads, sidewalks and cars covered in fresh snow Tuesday as the city saw as much as 40 centimetres of the white stuff fall overnight.

The snow started Monday evening and with it came strong, northerly winds, causing troublesome driving conditions and poor visibility.

Read more: Calgary, southwest Alberta set to see major winter storm Monday, up to 50 cm of snow expected

According to Environment Canada, YYC Calgary International Airport recorded 24 centimetres of snow as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.

In other parts of the city, the snowfall totals ranged from 20 to 40 centimetres, depending on the area.

“There’s a lot of it. But at the same time, this time of year it’s pretty magical. It’ll be nice to see the white Christmas,” Calgarian Krista Medhurst said.

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Click to play video 'Travellers and deliveries impacted by southern Alberta winter storm' Travellers and deliveries impacted by southern Alberta winter storm
Travellers and deliveries impacted by southern Alberta winter storm – Dec 22, 2020

Robin Boldt agreed, saying his house has been taking advantage of the fresh, fluffy snow.

“I have a house full of kids, and so when it started to snow they were outside all ready, going (for a) walk with their dad. I think the snow is pretty magical and wonderful, especially the week before Christmas.”

Calgary Police said from midnight to 4 p.m., they responded to 75 collisions, including four injury crashes, 56 non-injury crashes and 15 hit-and-run collisions.

Emergency crews in the city have also been busy responding to a high volume of calls but, like many Calgarians this morning, struggling to get through snowy roads.

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“There has been a few situations where our ambulances have been stuck, mainly on side (and) residential roads, but we managed to free ourselves and return to service,” Adam Loria with Calgary EMS said.

Loria added patient care has not been affected.

Photos sent to Global News from around the city and communities on the outskirts showed deep snow.

Snow seen in the Calgary community of Glamorgan on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Contributed/Graham Bond
A snow-covered back deck is seen in Bragg Creek on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Contributed/Brian Hodgkins

Several Calgary Transit buses were experiencing trouble early Tuesday morning, with the transit authority tweeting that many routes were being detoured and some communities could not be accessed.

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“Many buses stuck on primary roads as well as the majority that are stuck in the communities,” one tweet read.

Calgary Transit advised riders to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for updates.

The city’s transportation department also tweeted that with the amount of snow that had fallen, crews were focusing on Priority 1 routes that see the highest volume of traffic throughout the city, like Crowchild and Glenmore trails.

Emergency crews are seen tending to a car in the ditch in Calgary amid heavy snow on Dec. 22, 2020. Global News
A snowplow is seen clearing snow on a Calgary roadway on Dec. 22, after upwards of 20 centimetres fell overnight. Global News

“While conditions of roads may appear good, citizens are reminded to drive to winter conditions,” the city said.

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Alberta RCMP also advised drivers to stay off Highway 40 and Highway 1 due to “extremely poor” driving conditions Tuesday morning.

“Canmore RCMP are advising against non-essential travel on Highway 1 West from Exit 114 to the Banff park gates as road crews work on clearing the road surface of drifting blowing snow,” a news release said, adding that traffic was down to single lanes both east and west, and on-off ramps were slippery.

Click to play video 'Road safety in extreme weather' Road safety in extreme weather
Road safety in extreme weather – Dec 22, 2020

Southern Alberta

As of 10 a.m., Kananaskis has recorded 70 centimetres of snow, according to Environment Canada. Canmore wasn’t hit quite as hard, with residents digging out of 40 centimetres.

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Below are other unofficial snowfall totals released by the national weather agency:

  • Pekisko: 43 cm
  • Beaver Mines: 31- 39 cm
  • Dead Man’s Flats: 33 cm
  • Airdrie: 32 cm
  • Priddis: 32 cm
  • Cochrane: 23 cm
  • Pincher Creek: 20 cm
  • Lake Louise: 19 cm
  • Taylorville: 17 cm
  • Brooks: 15 cm
  • Claresholm: 14 cm
  • Olds: 14 cm