Motorists asked to stay off highways amid southern Saskatchewan winter storm

Click to play video 'Motorists asked to stay off highways amidst southern Saskatchewan winter storm' Motorists asked to stay off highways amidst southern Saskatchewan winter storm
WATCH: Drivers in the province are being asked to avoid highways if possible as heavy snowfall is expected to hit most areas of southern Saskatchewan. – Dec 22, 2020

If you were wishing for a white Christmas you’re in luck, as heavy snowfall, which began on Tuesday morning, is hitting most areas of southern Saskatchewan.

But with 10 to 25 cm of snow expected to fall throughout Tuesday night, according to Environment Canada, travel advisories are in effect in several areas of the province.

That includes several highways including a section of Highway 11 between Regina and Davidson along with highways around Kindersley and Rosetown, where it’s expected to be hit the hardest.

Read more: Southern Saskatchewan under a winter storm warning

“There is nothing from stopping the snow from blowing, it can really reduce visibility to near zero. It really makes driving quite dangerous and makes the road quite icy,” said Terri Lang, Environment Canada meteorologist.

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Saskatchewan RCMP said snow conditions impacted traffic in the Moose Jaw and White Butte areas as well. Travel is not being recommended on most of Highway 1 between Swift Current and past Regina.

If travel is necessary, CAA Saskatchewan said having your vehicle winter ready is essential, with winter tires and a roadside kit.

Read more: Saskatoon snow won’t be removed until January: city report

“Make sure you have a mobile phone for emergency, non-perishable food, a shovel maybe some flares to indicate in case you are stranded or stuck on the road. We also suggest you take extra outerwear which means parkas, mitts and boots,” said Christine Niemczyk, CAA Saskatchewan’s communication director.

Cities have also began preparing for what’s ahead with crews already out clearing roadways and will continue to do so throughout the evening.

“The City of Regina and its contracted support are ready to respond with approximately 50 pieces of equipment to keep residents safe and traffic moving,” the city responded in an email to Global News on Tuesday.

“During a snow event, we work to keep major roads drivable by plowing snow and applying ice control at high-risk intersections. This means our focus is on high-speed roads, those with the greatest volume of traffic, and emergency routes.

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Read more: Regina hit by winter storm, could get up to 50 cm of snow by Monday

“This pattern continues until the snow has stopped falling.  Crews then begin systematically plowing roads in a priority sequence with the highest traffic volume roads first and continuing through the categories until roads have returned to normal winter driving conditions.”

As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Regina police reported eight collisions with zero resulting in injury.

Although Saskatoon did not fall under the winter storm warning, it did snow Tuesday morning. Saskatoon police reported six collisions due to icy roads as of 3 p.m. and no injuries.

Click to play video 'Snowfall warning: Dec. 21 Saskatchewan weather outlook' Snowfall warning: Dec. 21 Saskatchewan weather outlook
Snowfall warning: Dec. 21 Saskatchewan weather outlook – Dec 21, 2020