Visibility was severely reduced on roads in southern Manitoba on Monday due to a snowstorm that blew into the province.


Winnipeg police at the scene of a vehicle rollover on Main Street and Addis Avenue on Monday afternoon. (Pat Kaniuga/CBC)

Several crashes were reported in Winnipeg and in surrounding areas.

City crews are scheduled to begin clearing major streets at 11 p.m., with plows and sanding trucks set to work overnight and throughout Tuesday.

No winter parking bans are in effect at this time, according to the city.

Outside the city, highways officials urged drivers to slow down and drive with caution.

Highway 5 from the Trans-Canada to Highway 68 was closed to traffic shortly before 3 p.m. CT. Highway 16 from Highway 50 to Provincial Road 250 was also closed.

Both stretches of highway remained closed as of 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, conditions on other highways in southwestern and south-central Manitoba were far from ideal.

Brandon getting hit hard

Dozens of truckers parked their rigs and spent the day waiting out the storm at the Brandon Husky Travel Centre on the Trans-Canada Highway.

General manager Alex Kim said conditions were blizzard-like in the area and there was very little traffic on the highway. His restaurant, however, was full of people who've pulled off the road.

Jim Svoboda, general manager of Feedmax, which delivers livestock feed, said he did not send any of the company's four trucks out because visibility and road conditions were too treacherous.

The region already had about 15 centimetres of snow by midday, and more was on the way.

"I've had enough of winter. I guess [March is] going to come in like a lion, so hopefully it goes out like a lamb," he said.

Truckers also stuck in Headingley

Poor driving conditions also forced a number of trucks off the highway in the Headingley area, just outside Winnipeg, even though roads there were not closed.

Christopher Dougherty, a truck driver from Quebec, has been hauling a specially built fire truck to CFB Wainwright in Alberta. However, he and others were stuck at the Flying J pit stop in Headingley because of the weather.

Dougherty said oversized loads like his are not allowed on the road when there is poor visibility or strong winds.

"We're not allowed to travel in what they call 'adverse weather conditions.' And every time I come through Winnipeg, that's what I get. It's unreal!" he said.

Dougherty said he has to keep his truck running until he can leave, at a cost of $100 to $150 in fuel alone.

System from the Dakotas

The storm, part of a system moving up from the Dakotas, is expected to bring up to 25 centimetres of snow to some parts of Manitoba and winds gusting up to 50 km/h at times.

Flood risk?

The Manitoba government's latest flood forecast does account for Monday's snowfall, as March generally has some of the most precipitation of any month of the year, a spokesperson told CBC News in an email.

The government spokesperson noted, however, that the flood forecast "is still subject to additional precipitation, the rate and time of snow melt and ice breakup."

The heaviest snowfall was expected in the southwest corner of the province, while Winnipeg could receive 10 to 15 centimetres.

The south-central town of Morris had already had more than 25 centimetres of snow as of Monday afternoon.

A number of semi-trailers were forced off Highway 75 as a result, said Lisa Wiebe, manager of the Husky station at the south end of town.

"We got, oh, maybe 15 or so trucks sitting out here. Yeah, we've got pretty big drifts," she said.

"We've got our yard cleaned out once already this morning and, yeah, a couple of hours later you'd never have known the difference."

In Miami, a community west of Morris, unofficial snowfall amounts totalled more than 40 centimetres as of Monday afternoon.

The snowfall was expected to taper off from west to east on Monday night and into Tuesday morning.