Edmonton pauses non-essential snow and ice-clearing work due to extreme cold

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UPDATE: On Dec. 31, the city said the pause on non-essential snow clearing operations would remain in effect “until further notice” due to extreme temperatures next week. It said crews would respond to “safety-sensitive notifications and… emergent and priority issues.” Crews adjust materials depending on the conditions, the city said, and have moved from salt to a sand and chip mix.

The City of Edmonton announced Monday that, due to the extreme cold temperatures, it would be pausing “non-essential snow and ice-clearing work, including Phase 2 residential areas.”

In a news release, the city said: “the current temperatures present a significant risk to employees, equipment and contracted equipment.

“Temperatures will be monitored and operations will resume when it is safe to do so.”

Read more: Edmonton extends Phase 1 parking ban; ‘Please do not park on roads’

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The city said crews would continue to respond to “safety-sensitive notifications” and address “emergent and priority issues.”

On Sunday, Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning for all of Alberta.

Extreme cold wind chill values are expected into next week, with the coldest wind chill to be between minus 40 and minus 50.

Read more: Environment Canada issues extreme cold warning for Alberta on Boxing Day

According to the agency, areas in northern Alberta will experience a prolonged period of extreme cold conditions, possibly persisting into next weekend.

With frostbite able to develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill, Environment Canada says to cover up all skin and to avoid outdoor activities.

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