The City of Winnipeg has instituted a snow route parking ban after a major dump of snow blanketed the area and much of southern Manitoba on Wednesday.

Officials said the ban would begin at midnight, and snow plows would be deployed on major routes beginning at 7 p.m. 

Anyone found parking on a snow route will get hit with a $100 ticket, according to city officials, and worse, could get their cars towed to the towing company’s vehicle compound.

Officials did not say how long the ban would be in place.

Bad weather spurs traffic nightmare in southern Manitoba

Heavy snow and strong winds made for a cold and icy start to the day in southern Manitoba.

Snowy roads

Drifting and blowing snow shrouded downtown and created tricky driving conditions for morning commuters in Winnipeg on Wednesday. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

In the Winnipeg area, the west Perimeter Highway and highways north of the city had extremely low visibility early in the day, with the situation much worse on highways just east of Brandon.

The poor weather caused traffic tie-ups all over Winnipeg.

“It was slow. Normally to go downtown it takes about 10 minutes, and it took me half an hour,” said Winnipegger Margaret Day.

The icy conditions had a lot of drivers putting on the brakes.

“I’m an old retired guy with a hat – a two-fisted driver. Of course I was taking it slow,” said motorist Kim Trethart.

Drivers weren’t the only ones taking it slow. Winnipeg Transit announced delays across the board.

Transit-user Timothy Burke said it amounted to a lot of frustration.

“You miss one bus, and then you’re waiting at a bus stop for 30 minutes, and then your whole day is messed up, which is unfortunate,” said Burke.

Overall though, the people CBC talked to were taking the poor conditions in stride.

“You have to dress warmer because you do get cold out there in the wind,” said Winnipegger Ken Mason.

Flight delays

The snow also created a lot of chaos at the James A. Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg.

Close to a dozen flights were delayed for arrival, which meant many flights are also delayed for departure.

At least one flight, an Air Canada one from Montreal that was supposed to land in Winnipeg, was diverted to Grand Forks, North Dakota. The flight was supposed to land at 10 a.m. but was delayed until noon.

Breanne Talbot, spokesperson for the Winnipeg Airports Authority, said the main issue was strong south winds.