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Snow falls over Calgary, southern Alberta; caution advised on roads, highways

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Highways around Calgary were in poor condition Monday night.

Blowing snow caused poor visibility along Highway 22 south of Cochrane and on the Trans-Canada west of Calgary.

East of Calgary, just after 8 p.m. on Highway 564 near Delacour, a semi-trailer jackknifed, blocking the highway in both directions until tow equipment arrived.

AMA said it was 15 hours for a tow or winching in Calgary and eight hours in Red Deer.

According to 511 Alberta, roads were partly covered with snow and ice west of the city on Highway 1 and north and south of the city on Highway 2 with only fair visibility.

Visibility was better east of the city on the Trans-Canada to Strathmore but it deteriorated after that.

Calgarians woke up Monday to freezing drizzle as temperatures started to fall ahead of a predicted snowfall that Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said could see accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres.

ECCC said snow was expected to fall in many regions of central and southern Alberta.

"Snowfall amounts may vary significantly as some of the snow will melt on contact with the warm ground," the online bulletin read.

"Snow will end ... over central regions tonight and on Tuesday for southern regions."

Anyone on the road during the storm was advised to take precautions because of possibly dangerous road conditions and low visibility.

Highways around Calgary were in poor condition Monday night.

MANY CRASHES IN THE CITY

In Calgary, there were many collisions Monday night, including some chain-reaction crashes.

Emergency crews closed several roads in different quadrants of the city until sanders could be sent because the conditions were too dangerous.

City police say between 4 and 9 p.m., they responded to 122 non-injury collisions and 21 injury collisions.

The most serious injury was a broken leg. 

CALGARY CREWS AT WORK

The City of Calgary warned drivers to plan ahead as they hit the roads, saying conditions were expected to deteriorate as the mercury fell in concert with the snow.

In a statement sent late Sunday, the city's mobility spokesperson Chris McGeachy said crews were already working preparing roads ahead of the storm.

"Our crews work around the clock, preparing equipment and materials, applying anti-icing agents to potential trouble spots like bridge decks and focusing on maintaining safe conditions on Calgary's busiest routes per the city's priority snow plan."

McGeachy said the city plows and applies materials on the highest-volume roads first.

These routes include Calgary's busiest roads, among them Crowchild Trail, Glenmore Trail and Memorial Drive.

The city advised anyone venturing outside to dress for the cold and prepare for winter weather, including wearing appropriate footwear, and, depending on how they were travelling, to check the city's traffic cameras and road conditions map, visit calgarytransit.com or refer to the city’s pathways and bikeways map.

BUSINESS BOON

At Oakridge Automotive, the phones were ringing off the hook with customers looking to change over to winter tires.

"Today has been super crazy," said Terry Potter, service manager at Oakridge Automotive.

"Probably had about 15 calls today at least."

The shop is backed up with business until Nov. 15, which is nothing new during this time of year.

"Snow falls, this is how it is. Some people planned a month in advance. Those that haven't are in panic mode, and that's the phone calls," Potter said.

By the end of the day, Potter expected the store to have received at least 50 calls for people wanting to change over their tires.

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