Paramedics respond to nearly 40 falls as freezing rain sweeps across Edmonton

Edmonton ambulances, emergency rooms see 'big spike' in falls on icy sidewalks

Freezing rain made for slick roads and sidewalks in Edmonton Thursday morning. 

Between midnight and 1:30 p.m., paramedics responded to 39 calls related to falls, said Alberta Health Services spokesperson Kirsten Goruk. 

"We don't know for sure that they're all related to the ice," she said, but noted that during the same time period on Wednesday, there were only eight calls. 

A low pressure system moving across northern Alberta brought freezing rain to the more central part of the province in the morning.

There were traffic woes in the city for some morning commuters.

Between 8 a.m. and noon, Edmonton police responded to two car crashes where people were hurt, 35 where property was damaged and 12 hit and runs, said Edmonton police spokesperson Carolin Maran.

"Just given the recent freezing rain, the EPS just really wants to remind motorists to drive for the conditions and allow extra time to travel," Maran said. 

Power outages 

Power was knocked out in some parts of the city, but has mostly been restored. 

Around 11:30 a.m., a pole fire in the Summerside/Ellerslie area left nearly 2,500 customers without electricity, said EPCOR spokesperson Tim le Riche. By 1:15 p.m., the power had mostly been restored. 

There was also an electrical equipment failure in the Tipaskan neighbourhood in Mill Woods, le Riche said.. As of 3 p.m., about 30 customers in the area were without power. It was expected to be back on around 4 p.m.

Shortly after 1 p.m., 35 customers in McCauley, northeast of downtown, were without power. The cause of that outage remains unknown, le Riche said.