Dump of snow surprises foothills last week
Weather: Snow expected to back off until next week
By: Darlene Casten
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 06:00 am
What was expected to be a nice blanket of snow, turned into a mattress of the white stuff last week, but residents can look forward to a respite over the next few days.
Forecasters originally called for two centimeters of snow last Wednesday, but the prediction quickly changed as snow accumulated overnight. When locals awoke Thursday morning they were greeted by at least five centimeters of snow which continued to fall throughout the day.
Environment Canada said as much as another four centimeters could pile up as the snow was expected to fall until early Friday morning. Snowfall continued sporadically over the weekend and began again Monday morning.
Most motorists were able to keep themselves on the roads despite a large dump of snow in the foothills, however some were not so lucky.
Freezing temperatures, around the -10C mark, also helped to make the conditions slick.
On Thursday Okotoks firefighters responded to their first collision around noon when two cars collided along Southridge Drive near the entrance to the TD Bank. Other non-injury accidents continued to be called in as the day progressed and the snow fell.
No one was hurt in the crash, but one car hit a pole and the other lost its front bumper and had dumped fluid, staining the snow underneath pink.
Also on Thursday morning one car was in the snow-covered median along Highway 2A and another car was in the ditch along a secondary road near Edison School.
Sgt. Ian Shardlow of the Okotoks RCMP said drivers have been doing well coping with the roads all week.
“It seems everyone is using their winter driving skills,” Shardlow said. “We are well into winter so their winter driving skills should be entrenched.”
He said people need to slow down and giving themselves plenty of time to stop.
Despite the snow, Shardlow said they have not seen a spike in car crashes over the past week.
“It hasn’t escalated because of the snow,” he said.
Sgt. Jim Ross of the Turner Valley RCMP said they also haven’t seen any serious accidents and the number of car crashes has remained steady from what they see at any time of the year.
High Country drivers can always be relied on to drive safely when the snow starts to fly, he said.
“Over the years with our local drivers when we do get the inclement weather like this, when it’s snowing and slippery, they seem to check their speeds and drive accordingly,” Ross said.
Last week he said roads in the area were being maintained well.
“I’ve heard the plow go by several times,” he said.
Jack Brown, operations manager for Volker Stevins in Calgary, said the weather over the last week has kept them busy over the last week.
“Its juggling shifts and trying to have the full force out to accommodate commuter traffic,” Brown said. “At three or four in the morning we try to have the full complements of plows out.”
Although the snow has slowed down, Brown said they are still busy clearing intersections and areas on the highway where vehicles can cross over on side streets.
“Once the storm is over there is still a lot of work to do,” he said.