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Slick commute for Calgary drivers following early morning snowfall
CALGARY – Drivers encountered slippery roads and reduced visibility during Tuesday's commute after an overnight snowfall brought wintry weather back to Calgary.
A snowfall warning remains in effect for Calgary and surrounding areas. Environment Canada issued the statement late Monday evening projecting anywhere from 10 to 15 centimetres of snow as a low pressure system moved into Alberta, beginning in the southwestern part of the province and tracking eastward.
Drivers were urged to take caution in areas like on and off ramps, hills, bridge decks and intersections where wet snow has frozen over into black ice.
Blowing snow reduced visibility for drivers on Stoney Trail in northwest Calgary during the Tuesday morning commute.
Calgary police told CTV News drivers should give themselves plenty of extra time, drive to the road conditions and give more stopping space in between vehicles.
They say there have been 116 crashes in the city from midnight until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with 93 crashes being non-injury incidents and 13 resulting in injuries. 10 of the crashes were hit-and-run calls.
City crews were already out early Tuesday to help deal with the snow. A brine mixture was laid down in advance of the snowfall and plows focused first on clearing snow from major priority one routes.
Ward Sutherland, councillor for Ward 1, confirmed on Twitter this latest snow event cost the city $180,000 so far. He adds that 560 tonnes of salt, along with 10,170 litres of calcium chloride have also been used on city streets.
Sgt. Blaine Brooks says the Calgary Police Service has been busy responding to crashes all over the city. “Drivers have to slow down, they have to leave room between vehicles and they have to wear their seatbelts. The weather is deteriorating and the roads are very slippery."
Chris McGeachy , City of Calgary roads spokesperson, says the cost of each snow event varies from $700,000 to $1.5 million.
"Our snow budget does go from January 1st to December 31st," explained McGeachy. "While people may think of the winter season from October to March, our snow budget actually resets on January 1st so we are in pretty good shape right now."
McGeachy says crews are focusing on spreading salt on priority one routes, like Crowchild and Glenmore Trails, to keep the greatest amount of drivers moving safely. He adds drivers still need to use caution on the roads.
"The roads may look bare and our anti-icing materials are working but we would just like to remind people that just before the sun comes up and after it goes down icy spots can exist out there and we want to remind people to drive to winter conditions."
Meanwhile, conditions on area highways are less than ideal.
According to 511 Alberta, a stretch of Highway 22, just north of Cochrane, is covered in snow and ice. Both Highway 1 and Highway 8 west of Calgary are also partly covered in snow.
Some drivers have also reported low visibility on some highways and certain stretches where it can be tough to see the lanes.
Environment Canada expects the snow to taper off by Wednesday morning.
For updated information regarding weather warnings and watches, visit Environment Canada – Public Weather Alerts.
Download the CTV Calgary Sky Watch Weather App for real-time weather forecasts and video updates on conditions HERE.