Citywide parking ban starts tonight as first storm of season hits Edmonton
Between 10 to 25 centimetres of snow expected to accumulate in capital region
Edmonton will launch a citywide parking ban Tuesday night after the city got a biting first taste of winter.
The parking ban will come into effect at 7 p.m. and be in place for about 48 hours, the city said in a statement Tuesday.
The Phase 1 ban allows the city to clear major roads, streets in the city's 13 core business areas and bus routes — effectively any road bearing the seasonal no-parking signs. It does not affect parking in residential areas.
Andrew Grant, the city's general supervisor of infrastructure operations, will provide more information about the citywide parking ban at a Tuesday morning news conference.
The parking ban was announced as many Edmontonians contend with a white-knuckled commute on slick, snow-covered roads.
The city's first snowfall of the season began Monday as a powerful winter storm blew across the Prairies, bringing heavy snow, freezing rain and powerful winds to Alberta.
The 511 Alberta map shows poor driving conditions in Edmonton, with ice and snow-covered streets causing congestion and fender-benders.
As of Tuesday morning, the Edmonton region remained under a snowfall warning.
A semi-truck was jackknifed across several lanes of Anthony Henday Drive Tuesday, prompting police to divert traffic, but all lanes of the major commuter route were open again by 11 a.m.
"Motorists are reminded to drive with care as visibility is low in some areas of the city and roadways are very icy," police said.
Between 5:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 80 collisions were reported to Edmonton police, including eight hit-and-run collisions and 68 property damage collisions.
The road conditions have forced some school divisions in areas surrounding Edmonton, including Elk Island Public Schools, Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools and Sturgeon Public Schools, to cancel buses.
A series of snowfall, wind and winter storm warnings remain in place for a large swath of the province after a ridge of high pressure developed over the province Monday.
Powerful winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour whipped across southern Alberta while areas of the Rockies were hit with as much as 60 centimetres of snow, leaving some areas impassable.
Blowing snow continued in Edmonton and surrounding areas Tuesday morning, blanketing the city, burying sidewalks and clogging city streets.
Kyle Fougère, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the powerful weather system moved in from the Pacific, dousing B.C. with devastating rains before dumping snow on the Prairies.
Between 12 to 20 centimetres of snow has fallen in the city, Fougère said. Some surrounding areas were hit with as much as 25 centimetres overnight.
Another two to four centimetres is expected to fall before the storm tapers off and moves east into Saskatchewan.
'A bit of a shock'
"It's seasonal weather, but it is a bit of a shock after the warm temperatures we've had for the last three weeks," Fougère said,
Powerful winds are expected to continue throughout the afternoon, reducing visibility for Alberta drivers, he said.
"We're seeing very poor travel conditions, especially just outside of the Edmonton area," he said. "If anyone has travel plans today, really pay attention to the weather and try to rearrange your plans, if you could."
Temperatures are expected to drop this afternoon and remain seasonally cold for weeks to come.
"It's likely that the snow is going to stick around, possibly for the rest of the winter," Fougère said.
Between 10 and 25 centimetres is expected to accumulate before the storm tapers off.
The cold temperatures will continue this afternoon as competitors hit the pitch for what could be a deciding game on the road to the 2022 World Cup.
Team Canada is preparing to face Mexico in Commonwealth Stadium, with a frosty kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. MT (9:05 p.m. ET).
The temperature is expected to fall to around –8 C this afternoon with a wind chill making it feel like –16.