Winter storm causes outages, transportation slowdown across Saskatchewan

Click to play video: 'Regina residents deal with aftermath of blizzard as snowfall continues' Regina residents deal with aftermath of blizzard as snowfall continues
A tough day for many Reginians, with the first winter storm of the season leaving the city in disarray. Residents are still dealing with the aftermath of Tuesday's blizzard, and the official start of winter is still a more than a month away. Taz Dhaliwal has more on how people are coping. – Nov 17, 2021

Snow, strong winds and deteriorated road conditions have created quite the interesting morning on Wednesday in parts of Saskatchewan.

The continued winter storm from Tuesday has created slowdowns, cancellations and outages across Saskatchewan communities.

At 9:45 a.m., Saskatchewan RCMP notified the public that traffic is back up on Highway 1 between Regina and Moose Jaw due to a collision in the eastbound lanes about ten kilometres east of Pense, Sask.

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

Police say both lanes are blocked and there is “a long, multi-kilometre backup of vehicles at a standstill” on the Trans-Canada highway.

As a result, officials have closed Highway 1 between the two cities due to road and weather conditions.

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“If you are in one of the vehicles waiting for the road to open, do not leave your vehicle. Conserve your cell phone battery. If snow is piling up around vehicles, ensure the vehicle ahead of you has their exhaust pipe clear,” warned Saskatchewan RCMP in a release distributed on Wednesday.

On the school side of things, students in both urban and rural areas of the province have needed to find alternative ways to get to school due to bus cancellations.

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While school divisions have been forced to cancel school bus services on Wednesday, the City of Regina says that transit buses are still on the roads.

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Transit riders are being told to expect delays throughout the day due to the blizzard.

Regina police respond to 22 collisions

A Regina Police Service (RPS) spokesperson said officers have been called to 22 collisions between noon on Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The collisions involved damage to vehicles or other property, but there were no injuries.

One call involved a vehicle hitting a wall in a parkade.

“As you can see from that example, not all of the collisions were weather-related, but the weather played a role in a number of these collisions,” RPS spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich said in an email.

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One collision was a hit-and-run that resulted in vehicle damage and no injuries.

RPS reminds drivers to completely clear the snow from their vehicles, including their taillights, windows, and mirrors, before getting on the roads.

Drivers should give themselves extra time to get anywhere. Travel on highways is not recommended.

“Go slowly, be patient with other drivers, and please help out people who may be stuck or stranded.”

Power outages have been reported to SaskPower since Tuesday when the storm hit the province.

Some areas affected by the outages on Wednesday morning include communities in the Swift Current and Melfort areas.

More information about current outages can be found at SaskPower’s website.

SaskTel is also warning customers that service outages are active in multiple communities due to power outages caused by the winter storm.

Read more: Snow storm, high winds hit Saskatoon

The Crown corporation said Wednesday that service impacts as of 12 p.m. include Yellow Creek, James Smith First Nation, Kinistino, Maude Lake, and St. Brieux (wireless, internet and home phone); Englefeld, Leroy, Middle Lake, Pathlow, Quill Lake, and Watson (home phone); Fort A La Corne, Meskanaw and Reserve (wireless).

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Crews will work to restore services as soon as highway conditions improve and it’s safe to travel, according to SaskTel.

However, residents are being told that more services may fail as back-up battery power depletes if commercial power is not restored.

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