A sudden snowstorm snarled commuter traffic in Edmonton and St. Albert Wednesday morning as icy roads caused vehicles to slide on hills and into intersections.  

Between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., Edmonton police recorded 201 vehicle crashes with 12 resulting in injuries.

A 24-year-old man died in a head-on crash around 10:45 a.m. on Highway 21 in southwest Strathcona County. RCMP closed the highway and warned people to stay off area roads. 

Highway 216 northbound between Highway 16 and Baseline Road was closed Wednesday afternoon following a multi-vehicle collision involving a semi-tractor trailer unit.

Within Edmonton, Yellowhead Trail, Connors Road, Fox Drive and 99th Street were all in bad shape.

"The members I have spoken to have suggested if you don’t have to be out and about to stay home," said police spokeswoman Lisa Sobchyshyn.

"They are also saying that if you can leave work earlier, do so, and avoid what will prove to be a very challenging drive home."

City crews are plowing and sanding priority routes and intersections after putting 82 pieces of equipment on Edmonton streets shortly after snow began falling.

Edmonton Transit System buses experienced delays on most routes.

St. Albert Transit resumed modified local service later in the afternoon after a temporary suspension because buses could no longer travel through neighbourhood roadways. 

Buses were still unable to get into some neighbourhoods, St. Albert Transit officials said. Commuter service between Edmonton and St. Albert is operating, but commuters will see significant delays.

Environment Canada reported 18 centimetres of snow had already fallen in St. Albert by midmorning.

Up to 25 is expected in the Edmonton region before nightfall.