Weather turns nasty, again, in Saskatchewan
Blizzard warning issued for areas west of Regina
Saskatchewan motorists face another round of nasty road conditions following a blast of winter weather that has prompted a number of weather and highway advisories.
Around 3:30 p.m. CST Thursday a blizzard warning was continued for areas stretching from Moose Jaw to the Alberta boundary.
Other parts of Saskatchewan, including Regina, were under winter storm warnings.
5 tips on what to do if you come upon another vehicle, in the ditch
Bad weather in Saskatchewan has led to a number of vehicles hitting the ditch. Here is a list of things to do, suggested by the RCMP, if you spot another motorist in the ditch, and want to help:
- Immediately slow down (applies if you see someone in the ditch or even just someone pulled over).
- Check surroundings to determine if it is safe to stop. (Is there other traffic close behind you?) If it is not safe to stop, have a passenger call for help, or pull onto a side road when safe and call for help.
- If you do stop to help: spend as little time as possible outside of your vehicle. Try to get everyone (stranded motorist and yourself) inside your vehicle, then drive to a safer place on the highway to wait.
- Where to stop: Pull over and stop well in advance of the car in the ditch. Having your vehicle in advance of the stranded vehicle gives you some cover between the dangers that may come behind you.
- Put on your hazard lights while you are parked and do anything you can do to make your vehicle more visible.
[Source: RCMP Sgt. Paul Dawson]
Forecasts called for heavy snow in Regina and Fort Qu'Appelle areas.
There will also be blowing snow due to wind.
The winter storm warning also extended to communities in the southeast, including Moosomin, Weyburn and Estevan.
Yorkton, Melville and Esterhazy were also forecast to experience heavy snow and wind gusts.
The blizzard warning for Moose Jaw, and communities in the southwest, forecasts very heavy snowfall combined with strong winds.
Snowfall amounts could reach 25 cm and winds may gust up to 60 km/h.
Things were not expected to clear until Friday morning.
Shortly after 4 p.m. RCMP said the storm was already affecting highway conditions.
"Blowing and drifting snow is creating extremely reduced visibility and icy road conditions," RCMP said, adding they "strongly recommend motorists do not venture out onto the highways until this storm passes."
They added that officers were dispatched to several collisions and were assisting motorists who hit the ditch.
White out conditions
According to the province's Highway Hotline many routes were hit with white out conditions.
The department said travel was not recommended from on Highway 1 west of Regina.
Conditions were also poor on Highway 11, north of Regina, to Davidson.
Weather was also linked to delays at the Regina airport Thursday, although a computer glitch in Toronto was also affecting the country's air traffic.
In Regina, Jason Sexsmith had been booked on a flight for Cuba but the sun and sand will have to wait.
"The pilot couldn't land so they went to Winnipeg and landed there and were going to come back and still couldn't land," Sexsmith, clad in sandals and shorts, said. "They were going to bus us to Saskatoon and that got changed and now [they're] sending us home until eight tomorrow morning."
Workers sent home early
Earlier on Thursday, about 100 workers at a fertilizer plant west of Regina were told they could leave work early to beat the storm.
Yara Fertilizer operates a plant near Belle Plaine.
Non-essential workers were told at noon they could leave ahead of the approaching storm.
The company said they have a policy to let workers leave when bad weather could affect their commute.
With files from CBC's Adam Hunter