Heavy snow in Lethbridge and southwest Alberta burying vehicles and making travel a challenge.. Photo credit to MyLethbridgeNow.com (Pat Siedleck)
City crews continue to work around the clock on Priority One routes with salting and plowing.
Lethbridge, along with several other community in the southwest, have been hammered by this late fall storm with upwards of 40 cm of snow as of early Thursday afternoon.
Environment Canada said many areas have seen between 20-30 cm since the storm blew in overnight in to Wednesday morning. In extreme southwest Alberta, like around Castle Mountain, over 50 cm has been reported.
Lethbridge’s Transportation Operations Manager, Adam Campbell says drifting has been a big issue. “It’s been localized, but the west side is always the worst. We’ve had issues in West Highlands, Copperwood, Sunridge, and RiverStone. Those have been the problem areas. People though seem to be making due.”
Campbell says they have ten plows and one grader on the go right now.
Unlike the storm in late September, this has been a bit easier for people to navigate despite the massive amount of snow. The colder temperatures this time are making for less ice, making it easier for tires to grip the snow.
Campbell says it’ll be good once the snow stops falling so they can get a handle on those Priority One routes and then continue on.
The weather office says the storm will blow though late Thursday evening and that will bring clearing conditions and cold temperatures for a few days. By early next week though, it looks like another chinook with roll in with daytime highs by Tuesday pushing +8 or +10.
Highway travel hasn’t been very good either with this winter storm. International crossing across southern Alberta have been impacted too, with Coutts closing down Wednesday night because of zero visibility. That border as well as Sweetgrass heading into the U.S. opened late Thursday morning, however non-essential travel was still not being recommended.
As for snow clearing in general, Campbell is asking drivers to stay clear of plows and give crews space to do their work.