Saskatoon

Southern and central parts of the province under blizzard and winter storm warnings Sunday

The winter storm continues to track its way through the province on Sunday.

Yorkton RCMP warn of black ice, Saskatoon prepares to handle 20 to 30 cm of snow

Jenny Hagan posted this picture of snow drifts piling up in Eatonia, Sask., on Sunday morning. (Twitter/Jenny Hagan LostInSk, @LostInSk)

The winter storm continues to track its way through the province on Sunday.

Much of the southern half of the province was under blizzard, winter storm, or snowfall warnings on Sunday.

Freezing rain and ice pellets fell around Regina and an area east of Yorkton, which prompted a warning from Yorkton RCMP about black ice creating dangerous road conditions in the area.

Kindersley RCMP asked residents in the area not to drive due to poor road conditions, including plowing services.

"No one should be on the road, except for emergency vehicles," police said in a release.

Travel was not recommended on every highway out of Saskatoon and most of the southwestern part of the province.

The Saskatchewan Highway Hotline issued warnings for winter road conditions across much of the rest of the province.

Highway 1 west of Swift Current was closed due to ice covered roads, heavy and drifting snow, and reduced visibility.

Saskatoon prepared for the worst

Saskatoon and the surrounding area saw about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow on Saturday and 20 to 30 centimetres of snow was expected to fall Sunday and into early Monday morning.

Stores were closing early Sunday morning or not opening at all in advance of the storm. The city closed the landfill shortly after 4 p.m., closed all leisure centres by 6 p.m. and cancelled all swimming lessons for Sunday afternoon and evening.

City officials issued a Level 2 emergency alert, meaning multiple organizations across the city are working together in response to the storm.

Terri Lang with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said heavy snow was expected throughout the evening and while the snow was expected to taper off early Monday, she said the wind will likely stay and create blowing and drifting snow into Monday morning.

The city's head of roadways Goran Saric said there were about 200 people "fighting the snow" on Saskatoon's roadways.

"We are basically putting everything we have in terms of resources into this storm today, tonight, tomorrow and into the coming days," Saric said.

Crews were working to clear priority streets and returning to major roadways like Circle Drive multiple times in a day to keep them clear. 

With the civic election on Monday, streets with polling stations were considered priority streets and will be cleared as needed, Saric said.

'No snow days for elections'

City manager Jeff Jorgenson said there are no snow days for elections and anyone who hadn't voted yet should make a plan for how they are going to do so on Monday.

"The election must continue," Jorgenson said. "Get out and vote and the roadways crews are going to do everything they can to keep those polling stations open."

He said the storm was progressing as forecasted and power outages and other service disruptions were still a possibility, but service agencies were on high alert and ready for anything that might happen.

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend

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