Drivers on the outskirts of Saskatoon didn’t get very far in Monday’s blizzard, their abandoned vehicles left scattered across the landscape.
Wind whipped up snow which caused visibility to plummet. Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) responded to 25 collisions on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Outside the city, countless highways were closed which led to 70 people needing to bunk a night at a school in Hague.
“One lucky guy got the high jump crash mat to sleep on, so he probably got the best sleep,” said Brad Nichol with the Prairie Spirit School Division.
Michelle Brass was among the dozens stranded at a Blaine Lake diner.
“The motel was filling up, so stuff was going on unbeknownst to me as I sat there kind of waiting to see what would happen in my vehicle,” said Brass.
Through social media, someone offered her a place to stay while 30 others slept at the nearby seniors’ centre. The Blaine Lake RCMP estimated there were as many as 80 vehicles stuck on the highway on Monday.
“I assisted the Rosthern detachment member doing a cattle drive because these cattle had gotten out on the highway,” said Sgt. Aaron Kading with Saskatchewan RCMP.
One storm chaser spotted some damage in her own west-central community.
The Alberta clipper swept over Saskatchewan in less than a day and carried on to Manitoba. However, it’ll be a while before everyone in Saskatchewan can dig themselves out.
It was a winter storm that many will never forget — not only for the treacherous conditions but how people came together to help each other out.
“It was a real heartwarming experience of just connecting people and laughing especially when we’ve been so separated with COVID,” said Brass.
“This blizzard does what it does which is bring people together.”