Prairies punched by winter storms

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in for a weekend of stormy weather as two systems move through the region.

Winnipeg deploying 200 pieces of snow-clearing equipment

Fresh snow overnight provided these University of Regina students an ideal opportunity to get out on their cross-country skis on Saturday morning. ((Sheryl Rennie/CBC))

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in for a weekend of stormy weather as two nasty systems move through the region.

The first storm began Friday night and delivered five to 10 centimetres of snow and, in some areas of Manitoba, freezing rain. More precipitation was expected Saturday.

That was to be followed by strong winds, which could whip up blizzard conditions, Environment Canada warned.

Travel in major cities, including Winnipeg and Regina was a soggy mess Saturday morning, especially on residential streets.

"Just slow down," Winnipeg police advised in a note sent to media outlets Saturday morning.

Highway travel in Saskatchewan and Manitoba was not recommended on several routes, including sections of the Trans-Canada Highway.

"It's really busy here," Saskatchewan's Highways Hotline centre reported Saturday morning.

Visibility is reduced and icy sections have been noted.

Highway 16, near Wynyard, Sask., is barely visible in this image taken Saturday morning. ((Submitted by Brenda Toth))
Highway 16, in the Wynyard area, has "very bad driving conditions," a CBC audience member reported in a news tip Saturday morning. "The snowplows were out at 6:30 a.m. but the roads have deteriorated greatly.

"Would not advise travel."

In Manitoba, officials said highway crews may end up plowing some routes twice to keep up with the snow.

Winnipeg sanding 'around the clock'

Environment officials said there won't be much of a break from the tough conditions as the second weather system's strong winds could produce whiteouts.

The City of Winnipeg said Saturday that some 200 pieces of equipment would be deployed through the weekend to clear streets of snow.

Priority will be on main roads and bus routes.

The city said conditions on residential streets and back lanes would be monitored and attended to as required.

In its media release, Winnipeg said crews were also salting and sanding streets "to improve traction on the roadways, and this activity will continue around the clock until road conditions improve."

People across the Prairies, including residents of this Winnipeg street, have some snow clearing ahead of them. ((Megan Benedictson/CBC))