Warnings for eastern Sask. lifted after 1st major snowfall of the season

·4 min read
The business Stat Towing & Delivery is out to help a vehicle north of Tisdale on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.  (Provided by Nick Statland - image credit)
The business Stat Towing & Delivery is out to help a vehicle north of Tisdale on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Provided by Nick Statland - image credit)

It's back to shovelling and scraping windows in Saskatchewan.

Much of the province saw its first big snowfall of the season, which started Wednesday and continued into Thursday.

While Prince Albert has received the most snow so far, it was the northeastern grain belt that remained under a snowfall warning until Thursday afternoon, including Hudson Bay, Tisdale, Humboldt, Kamsack, and Melfort.

"We generally don't end snowfall warnings until it stops snowing," said Rose Carlsen, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada

All the snow meant lots of business for the owner of Stat Towing & Delivery in Tisdale.

"For all the towers out there, it's white gold when it happens like this," said Nick Statland.

"[People] forget that we live in northeast Saskatchewan."

On Wednesday, the small towing company received about 70 calls, according to Statland.

People were "underestimating the weather out and the road conditions," he said.

Statland said they were helping people in different scenarios; from locking their keys in the car "because they ran outside really fast and didn't want to be outside," to vehicles getting stuck in the ditch.

Due to the holiday and the work of the plow trucks, Thursday was a bit less busy for the towing business, according to Statland.

However, they had to help with some rollovers, accidents and abandoned vehicles from Wednesday.

Most snow in Prince Albert, says meteorologist

Environment Canada ended the warnings for areas farther west such as Meadow Lake and Prince Albert, said Carlsen.

Now people in the region can catch up on shovelling all the snow that came down.

"Prince Albert is kind of our big winner [when it comes to the most amount of snow]," said Carlsen.

"We got 12 centimetres at their actual observation place and a few unofficial observations around the area that range from the 15- to 19-centimetres range."

The Meadow Lake area received 10 centimetres of snow, she said.

Environment Canada is still waiting on several reports to come in, but those are "the big ones so far," the meteorologist said.

According to the Prince Albert Police Service, officers in the city responded to several vehicle accidents since Wednesday.

CAA Saskatchewan said Thursday was an average day for the organization across the province.

"We don't have any long waiting periods at this point," said Christine Niemczyk, director of corporate communications with CAA Saskatchewan, on Thursday afternoon.

"It's a stat holiday, there probably is less traffic on the highways and on city streets as well. Tomorrow might be a different story."

Not much more coming for Saskatoon, Regina

Saskatchewan's two biggest cities might see some more snow fall into the early afternoon, according to Carlsen, but "nothing crazy."

"We're expecting the snow to kind of pull out from the west throughout the day," said Carlsen.

"They're not in the heavy snow region anymore, so none of the accumulations will be very drastic. And then we're expecting kind of a clearing trend later this evening into the overnight period for both Saskatoon and Regina."

Theresa Kliem/CBC
Theresa Kliem/CBC

People planning to travel in Saskatchewan Thursday should be careful, Carlsen said.

Saskatchewan Highway Hotline warns of icy or slippery sections and drifting snow on some roads, especially in the eastern and northern regions of the province.

Late on Thursday afternoon, travel was not recommended on Highway 1 from Balgonie to Regina

"We do recommend winter tires because the rubber for winter tires is specifically for this weather," said Niemczyk.

"We also say, drive according to the current weather and road conditions. So if there's ice and snow in your area, take your time. Don't rush. Be patient."

Statland agrees with Niemczyk.

"It's not ideal driving conditions," said the owner of the towing business from Tisdale.

"People out there need to remember to slow down for tow trucks, slow down for the plow truck, slow down for the RCMP and just slow down for each other when you're passing."

Statland wants people to not only slow down but also consider if it is really worth driving in bad weather, he said.

Provided by Nick Statland
Provided by Nick Statland

For those who are staying home, anyone planning to get their toboggans out for the season might be disappointed — the snow may not stick around in some parts of Saskatchewan, Carlsen said.

It may remain in some areas farther north, but she expects to see some melting due to more temperature variations still ahead.

CBC/Theresa Kliem
CBC/Theresa Kliem
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