Spring storm slams highways in west and central Sask.
Blizzard warnings issued by Environment Canada
Bad weather, including blowing snow, is making highway travel dicey in many parts of Saskatchewan and RCMP say they have been called to a number of crashes related to poor road conditions.
The weather office has also issued several blizzard warnings, meaning weather conditions could get even worse.
RCMP were advising motorists to stay off highways in much of central and west Saskatchewan.
Things were particularly bad in and around North Battleford, Sask., RCMP said.
"Police are currently attending to several accidents which are directly related to the weather," they said early Wednesday night. "Drivers are urged that if their travel is not necessary, to delay it until weather conditions improve."
Highways around Saskatoon were also affected by the weather.
"Travel is not advised ... east and west of Saskatoon due to weather conditions," RCMP said.
Visibility was down to zero or near-zero due to blowing snow.
Snow drifts were also creeping onto highways, making travel tricky.
Road surfaces were also described as very icy in some patches.
People on the roads told CBC News that some highways were like skating rinks and one semi was seen in the ditch in the Swift Current area.
A main factor in the blizzard warnings is the wind, which was forecast to gust to 80 km/h in some areas.
Bus route changes in Saskatoon
Blowing snow also forced the City of Saskatoon to change some routes.
The city said its transit service was making changes to Route #3 College Park; Route #4 Blairmore; and Route #17 Stonebridge "because of the excessive amount of blowing snow in some neighbourhoods."
Here is an update from the Highway Hotline, as of about 9:20 p.m. CST:
LATEST SUMMARY OF PROVINCIAL HIGHWAY CONDITIONS LISTED BY DISTRICT:
- MOOSE JAW: HWY#1 FROM BELLE PLAINE TO RUSH LAKE, HWY#19 FROM HWY#1 TO HODGEVILLE, HWY#363 FROM MOOSE JAW TO NEIDPATH AND HWY#2 FROM MOOSE JAW TO JCT.36 are CLOSED
- REGINA: HWY#1 FROM REGINA TO BELLE PLAINE AND HWY#2 FROM CHAMBERLAIN TO TUXFORD ARE CLOSED
- SWIFT CURRENT: TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED has been ADDED to the ENTIRE SHAUNAVON AREA DUE TO Zero Visibility, Heavy Snow, Snow Packed, Snow Drifts, and Drifting Snow
- WYNYARD: TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED has been ADDED to HWY#5 FROM HUMBOLDT TO JCT.2 in the WATSON AREA DUE TO Icy/Slippery Sections, Snow Drifts, and Drifting Snow