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City of Regina enters storm mode as Environment Canada announces blizzard warning

On Tuesday afternoon, the City of Regina announced it is going into 'storm mode' as Environment Canada warns of blizzard-like conditions across southern Saskatchewan.
On Tuesday afternoon, the City of Regina announced it is going into 'storm mode' as Environment Canada warns of blizzard-like conditions across southern Saskatchewan. Judi Watt / Submitted

On Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m., the City of Regina said it is going into “storm mode” as Environment Canada announced that southern Saskatchewan residents should expect severe winds gusting upwards of 90 km/h and 110 km/h in other areas of the province.

Environment Canada put out a warning that blizzard conditions and poor visibility caused by blowing snow are expected.

A winter storm moving across the prairies is bringing strong winds and snow across the province, with some areas being hit harder than others.

“The city and its contracted support is ready with approximately 50 pieces of equipment to keep residents safe and traffic moving during this storm,” said Tyler Bien, manager of roadways and seasonal operations for the City of Regina.

Read more: Saskatoon and Regina prepare for severe weather

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Bien adds city crews are prioritizing snow-removal on main roads, high-speed areas, along with emergency routes and will be applying ice control at any major intersections.

Additional staff have been brought on to help with this ploughing method until the end of the storm.

“Our ice control crew have been out all day actually, shifts started at 6 a.m., they’ve been out pre-applying some ice control, sanding and also getting ready for the incoming,” Bien explained.

He also says it is critical commuters give themselves extra time on the roads and drive to the best of their abilities.

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Bien continues to say public transit is available for anyone that does not feel comfortable getting behind the wheel during the snowstorm.

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On Tuesday evening, there were reports of buses being backed up, due to the congestion of commuters on the roads. Earlier on in the day, major delays were occurring on the highways, and then by the time the sun had set, all highways in and around the city were closed.

Regina officers say they are responding to weather-related traffic issues throughout the city. Traffic lights are out at several intersections.

Read more: Winter driving conditions take extra attention, SGI warns

Once the snow event stops and there is five centimetres or more of snow, the city said crews will begin a systematic plow starting with Category 1 and progressing through Categories 2, 3, and 4 areas.

According to Environment Canada, the extreme conditions are expected to taper off from the west later Tuesday night, into Wednesday.

Travel is expected to be hazardous due to the reduced visibility. Additionally, visibility could be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.

Environment Canada issues blizzard warnings when widespread reduced visibility of 400 metres or less is expected for at least four hours.

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