Edmonton drivers will have to move their vehicles from residential bus routes for the first time Friday so crews can clear the snow that fell during the city's first major winter storm.

"The seasonal no-parking ban on the residential bus routes will be in effect for 7 a.m. tomorrow morning," said Bob Dunford, the city's director of roadway maintenance, on Thursday. "We wanted to give everybody lots of notice as being the first one."

Vehicles not moved by 7 a.m. may be be tagged and towed by city enforcement officers.

"[Officers] will be out for seven in the morning. I've already talked with them," Dunford said.

Friday will mark the first time the city has declared a parking ban since the new snow removal policy was approved last fall.

The ban was proposed after cars parked on residential streets hampered efforts to remove large amounts of snow that fell in January. City officials encountered some backlash from motorists who said they had nowhere else to park.

The ban will be in effect until the city issues a notice saying otherwise. Dunford doesn't expect it will go beyond 48 hours.

Winter storm warning

Police reported more than two dozen collisions — two involving serious injuries — between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday.  Pedestrians were cautioned to be more alert when crossing streets in the blowing snow.

Police also urged drivers to take care on the roads.

"Driving in the snow, in these conditions, is a perishable skill," acting Insp. Gary Godziuk said.

Snow began falling during the morning commute while a brisk wind made minus single-digit temperatures seem twice as cold.

Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning, calling for heavy snow Thursday with 10 centimetres falling before evening.


A tow truck driver works on a truck wrapped around pole on the Anthony Henday at Terwillegar Drive. (CBC)

In more open areas, blowing snow is reducing visibility to less than one kilometre, with the wind blowing at 40 km/h, gusting to 60 km/h.

RCMP investigated three vehicle crashes on Highway 16 between Edmonton and Stony Plain.  While the collisions did not result in serious injuries, traffic was slowed significantly.

A collision between two tractor-trailers closed Highway 43 between Hythe, Alta., and the B.C. border Thursday afternoon.    

More than 1,300 homeowners in Edmonton woke up to no power Thursday morning. Three separate power outages were repaired by the noon hour.

Environment Canada says snow will continue to fall Thursday night, up to another four centimetres, while temperatures will drop to -18 C with the windchill at -25 C.