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Summer tourist town in Riding Mountain National Park to be hit with more snow

Click to play video: 'Riding Mountain bracing for more snow'
Riding Mountain bracing for more snow
WATCH: With more snow expected in Western Manitoba this weekend, it's not good news for a summer tourist area like Riding Mountain National Park. Abigail Turner reports on the challenges they're facing – Apr 22, 2022

Riding Mountain National Park is expected to be one of the hardest hit communities by a second Colorado Low this weekend.

The area was hit with roughly 80 cm of snow last weekend and another 50 cm could fall this weekend.

The townsite in the park, Wasagaming, allows seasonal businesses to open their doors on April 1, but with so much snow still needed to melt, and more on the way, many owners are anxiously looking at the forecast.

“It’s been a lot quieter for the last month,” George Hartlen, CAO of Friends of Riding Mountain National Park, a non-profit organization, told Global News.

Read more: Manitoba could see heavy snow and rain this weekend, meteorologists say

“A lot of our businesses are dealing with three or four-foot-high snow drifts in front of their establishments. They’re having to turn away people who have booked accommodations already because the water lines are still frozen”

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Business owner Gerhard Murray was able to open earlier in the month, but that’s not the same situation for many of his neighbours.

“This coming weekend, next weekend, in a normal situation more businesses start opening, this storm is just delaying it, people can’t get their water on,” says Murray.

“After last weekend, what does it matter? We’ll deal with it and hopefully the highways stay open so people can come.”

He remains optimistic headed towards the May long weekend, a popular date marking the beginning of the summer season for the community.

Read more: Heavy snowfall and rain rolling into southern Manitoba over the weekend

Pipe issues seem to be a setback for many people in the area, including the older seasonal area of cabins.

“That area is all shallow lines so that’s going to probably…definitely going to impact when we can get facilities open,” said Chris Hanson, the Asset Manager at Riding Mountain Nation Park. “Right now it’s covered in four feet of snow; there’s still frost on the ground.”

It’s a delay that could be similar in the campground, which is slated to partially open May 1.

Snow-packed roads leading to the campsites remain, but Hanson says they’re hoping they open all sites come May long weekend, but will have to play it “day by day” leading up to the opening.

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