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Motorists face slippery commute as winter conditions arrive

The first major snowfall of the season has arrived in Calgary, with Environment Canada warning that 10 to 25 centimetres could fall before it lets up later on Tuesday.

The agency says snowfall amounts may vary significantly, with cold temperatures potentially worsening road conditions on through the morning. 

Calgary police reported 153 collisions from midnight to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, including nine that resulted in injuries.

Police posted on the social media site X at about 1:30 p.m. that motorists should avoid westbound Stoney Trail at Sarcee Trail N.W. due to a traffic incident. Westbound traffic was expected to be closed for several hours.

Temperatures in the Calgary area are expected to remain cold throughout the week.

A snowfall warning for Calgary was lifted Tuesday morning but remained in effect for a large area west and south of the city.

A person scrapes the window of their black car.
A Calgarian scrapes their car on Monday afternoon. (Jo Horwood/CBC)

The City of Calgary says crews are working around the clock to respond to the snow, and are applying material to help minimize icy buildups. The city says additional contracted resources have been activated to help respond to the snow.

Chris McGeachy, a spokesperson with City of Calgary Mobility, said crews are well prepared for the first signs of winter. 

“We’ve been preparing for this for at least a few weeks now. We have crews getting their equipment ready, they’re getting the work plans ready, they’re applying anti-icing and materials to those trouble spots like bridges and hills and intersections.” 

McGeachy said drivers should take care and give themselves more time to reach their destinations. 

“We’re no longer in those dry weather conditions, so when you head out on your commute, you might notice a little more slick conditions.”

McGeachy said the city initially focuses primarily on major routes such as Crowchild Trail and Glenmore Trail. 

“I think we all acknowledge it’s very difficult to predict the weather. So we just try to manage it the best we can and remind people that we live in a winter city, so just be prepared for winter weather.”

The Mustard Seed says its shelters are oversubscribed as the winter weather settles in. 

Samantha Lowe, the agency’s director of shelter operations, says that as the temperature drops, the organization is seeing an increase in demand for its services. She says the Mustard Seed is looking for tuques, gloves, socks, boots and other warm clothing for the city’s most vulnerable.

“We just opened up a women’s shelter a week ago, and we have already filled up all 40 spaces. We redirected one individual last night. And then at our Foothills shelter, we have 370 spaces, and we had to redirect 31 individuals last night because we were also full,” she said.

Lowe says the Mustard Seed works closely with Alpha House and the Drop-In Centre to ensure everyone has a safe space to stay, especially when it gets cold.

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