Edmonton snowfall causes chaos on city streets

Snow and ice caused horrible road conditions in the Edmonton area, resulting in more than 140 collisions and long traffic delays.

Pictures and videos on social media show vehicles sliding and crashing

Ice and snow led to collisions on 103rd St. and 98th Ave. -- and around the city -- on Friday afternoon. (Michael Cinco)

A snow storm in Edmonton Friday resulted in chaos on city streets, triggering 142 collisions, say city police.

There were also nine hit-and-runs and six crashes that led to injuries.

Images and videos on social media showed vehicles in downtown Edmonton sliding out of control as they descended the hill at 103rd Street near 89th Avenue.

Long waits for tow services

Those looking for tow service from the Alberta Motor Association were waiting more than four hours. Members looking for a battery boost, a tire change or help to unlock a vehicle waited for three to four hours.

"We're pretty busy right now. It's pretty much non-stop," said Ryan Lemont, AMA manager of fleet operations.

He said the AMA anticipated the workload yesterday, trying to get workers ready for long hours and overtime.

"The roads were super slick, even with winter tires. It took me almost double the time it takes to get across the city."

Tow ban

A towing ban was in place on Highway 2 from Edmonton, south to Millet. The ban will be lifted when conditions improve, with safer conditions to tow vehicles along the highway.

A semi sits in the median of Highway 2 near the Edmonton International Airport exit. (Jason Samograd)

Strathcona RCMP were warning drivers of heavy snowfall and challenging driving conditions in anticipation of Friday's rush hour.

They offered these tips for drivers:

  • Slow down when conditions are not ideal.
  • Motorists have a legal obligation to drive according to road conditions.
  • Keep your headlights on.
  • Do not use cruise control in winter conditions.
  • Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to anticipate and react to your actions.
  • Allow yourself extra distance to stop.
  • Remember that bridge decks may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not, since they are subject to temperature fluctuations.
  • Ensure your windows are clear of ice and snow before you head out onto the streets