Calgary walloped by heavy snow

Calgary police are asking people to stay off local roads on Saturday because of heavy, wet snow that's making driving treacherous.

Drivers asked to avoid road travel in southern Alberta

A severe spring storm dropped wet snow on much of southern Alberta, including Calgary, on Saturday. (CBC)

Calgary police are asking people to stay off local roads on Saturday because of heavy, wet snow that's making driving treacherous.

Between midnight and 10:15 a.m. MT police responded to more than 65 reported collisions, most occurring after 7 a.m., Insp. Rob Williams said in a statement. By 3:30 p.m. Calgary police counted 122 incidents in total, of which 103 were minor fender benders and 19 involved injuries requiring medical attention. None of the injuries were life-threatening. 

"Many hills in the city are proving impassable due to the snow and ice conditions," Williams said. "At least three police vehicles have been struck while officers were on-scene investigating other collisions."

No police officers have been injured, but the severity of the situation has led police and other city workers to close down some hills, including Bow Trail, until crews can sand them.

Stephen Tauro, a spokesman with the City of Calgary roads department, said all of the city's snow equipment were deployed.

"Our focus right now is on the major roadways that carry above 20,000 vehicles per day," he said. "Once we are done with that we will focus on the collectors, which is 9,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day. But right now, our focus will be the major roadways."

C-Trains on time

Ron Collins, the spokesman for Calgary Transit, said the C-Trains are on time but buses are running behind schedule and having trouble dealing with hills.

"We're asking customers to try to make it to the top of the hill or the bottom of the hill if you're on a route that has a hill, and board the bus there," Collins said. "We're also having trouble with stuck buses in some locations."

Collins said transit users can check Twitter or for the latest updates and advisories.

Some minor delays have also been reported at the airport.

Storm warnings issued

Highway travel remains difficult throughout much of southern Alberta, which was hit by the same spring storm. Environment Canada has issued snow storm warnings for much of southern Alberta, including Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

"An intense spring storm now located over northwestern Montana is generating heavy snow across southern Alberta," Environment Canada's weather office said on its website Saturday.

"Unofficial reports are indicating snowfall amounts of 10 to 20 [centimetres] so far with another 10 to 15 likely before the storm moves eastward out of the area tonight. Brisk northeasterly winds are also resulting in drifting and/or blowing snow over the southeastern corner of the province."

The snowfall warning extends to southeastern B.C., where several highways have been temporarily closed.

The snow is expected to stop late Saturday evening as the storm continues its way east into Saskatchewan.

With files from the CBC's Geoff Ellwand in Calgary