Edmonton and its surrounding areas are in the midst of the first major snowfall of the season.
On Saturday, Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park regions were put under a snowfall warning by Environment Canada.
Initially, the warning had said those areas could expect 10 to 15 cm of snow, but on Saturday morning the weather agency amended the warning to say snowfall would now be between 15 and 25 cm.
By Saturday afternoon, the warning was amended once again and said the expectation was now 20 to 30 cm of snow.
The City of Edmonton said Saturday morning that crews were already out plowing the roads and “all available equipment has been deployed,” which included 80 snow-clearing units.
“Crews are clearing our major roadways and arterial roads, like Whitemud Drive, Groat Road, or Jasper Avenue,” said an emailed statement from Andrew Grant, the general supervisor for the city’s infrastructure field operations.
“They’re also dispersing a mix of materials to improve traction. Once completed, we’ll be completing our collector roads and bus routes.
“Please drive to the conditions and leave more stopping distance and room between vehicles while driving.”
“If you see us out there, please give us room to work so we can clear the roads safely, and if possible, please move your cars off the road so we can do a better job.”
On Saturday, Grant said the main focus was removing snow versus and preventing ice formation.
“Right now we’re primarily just trying to plow the material off the road — we are applying salt and sand mixes, we’re seeing a little bit of ice formation just because the ground temperatures are a little warmer, melting some of the material off.”
Edmonton police said between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, there were a total of 125 collisions reported.
Of those, 16 were hit-and-run collisions, six were injury collisions, and 103 were property-damage collisions.
The city also implemented new parking ban rules for snow clearing this year that involve a two-phase system.
In Phase 1, city crews will clear arterial and collector roads, bus routes and business improvement areas and drivers can continue to park on residential streets.
When Phase 2 is implemented, drivers can park in their driveway, in a parking space on a neighbour’s property — with permission — or on any road cleared during Phase 1 where parking is normally allowed.
However, the city did not say Saturday when a Phase 2 ban could be in place for the city.
Edmontonians shared some wintery shots of the city on social media Saturday.
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