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Record snowfall blankets Calgary

Last Updated Oct 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm PDT

Summary

Snow route parking ban in place for Wednesday

More than 15 centimetres fell overnight in Calgary

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgarians woke up to a dump of snow Tuesday morning and continue to dig out.

Calgary police say there were 251 crashes between 10 p.m. Monday and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. To compare, on this day in 2017, a total of 131 collisions were reported.

The city has called a snow route parking ban to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Crews will continue plowing roads into Tuesday overnight. The city is prioritizing plowing for roads that see more than 20,000 vehicles each day, including Sarcee Trail, Glenmore Trail and Crowchild Trail.

“The progress has been very slow as we got a lot of snow in a very short period of time. Basically, our plows are going back and forth on those main roads, but as the snow comes down, it’s erasing a lot of the work that we’re doing,” said Tara Norton-Merrin, spokesperson for the City of Calgary.

“We are still on budget at this point with our snow and ice control budget, there is no significant concern about that,” says Roads Maintenance Manager Bill Bench noting that money is an annual number rather than a seasonal tally.

The City of Edmonton sent 30 snowplows to help. Red Deer and Medicine Hat also have equipment headed Calgary’s way.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning late Monday night, which warned 10 to 20 cm of snow was expected, but EC reported 19 cm at the airport as of 10 a.m. However, on Twitter, some people are reporting as much as 40 cm.

The Alberta Motor Association said towing times are now over 10 hours. The organization says normal towing times won’t be for another day or two.

“Just be patient, slow down and start down, start driving for these winter conditions of course,” said AMA Randy Loyk, manager of technical services.

The AMA is also warning drivers that drivers should be going lower than the posted maximum speed limits.

“Keep in mind, the maximum speed posted is under ideal conditions… if there’s a lot of snow on the road and you’re on a 50 km/h speed limit posted road, you wouldn’t want to be going 50, it would be too fast for conditions,” Driver Education Manager Ron Wilson said.

Calgary Emergency Operations Centre has opened to help with the snowfall.

Buses are now also saying Merry Christmas in light of the heavy snowfall.

Environment Canada’s Dan Kulak said the weather in Calgary is surprisingly common.

“We can have 20 centimetres in a day, and that’s happened since 1881over 40 times…it can happen in Sep., it can even happen in June,” he said.

Callers to 660 NEWS voiced their concerns about road conditions, “it’s terrible, absolutely nothing has been plowed,” said Trucker Dave, “I just came down 52 Street to 17 Avenue onto Stoney Trail, and it is just a mess out here.”

Another listener is asking drivers to clear the snow off their front and backlights.

People also told 660 NEWS about their longer-than-usual commute to work this morning.

“I’ve seen three people fall already this morning,” one person said.

Several people have taken to social media to document the snow storm.

Even the panda’s at Calgary’s zoo were captured.