Storm-caused closures, outages, flight issues subsiding after Alberta clipper batters Sask.

An image taken before 10 a.m. near Avonhurst, Sask., near Regina following an Alberta clipper storm sweeping through the province, and closing many highways around Regina. Many routes have since been reopened. (Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways - image credit)
An image taken before 10 a.m. near Avonhurst, Sask., near Regina following an Alberta clipper storm sweeping through the province, and closing many highways around Regina. Many routes have since been reopened. (Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways - image credit)

An Alberta clipper, named after the speedy sailing ships that once roamed the oceans, moved through Saskatchewan on Saturday and into Sunday, inundating southern regions with freezing rain and snow and resulting in power outages and road closures.

Dayne Patterson/CBC
Dayne Patterson/CBC

Environment Canada issued winter storm warnings and special weather alerts Saturday for the winter storm, which was expected to reduce visibility to near zero and drop up to 20 centimetres of snow as it pummeled the province.

Nearly all highways leading in or out of Regina were closed Sunday morning, according to the provincial Highway Hotline. All have reopened except Highway 1 to the west of the city as of 10:45 a.m. CT.

Travel is discouraged on the roadways, with some still considered ice-covered and snow-packed with reduced visibility.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways
Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways

On Sunday morning, the national weather station concentrated its warnings in the central and southeast regions of Saskatchewan, predominantly with wind, snowfall and blowing snow alert as of 10 a.m. CT. The Melfort and Humboldt areas remain under a winter storm warning.

SaskPower reported eight unplanned outages spread around the province in the storm's wake. Repairs to some have been completed with power restored, while others are in various stages of repair.

Both the Saskatoon and Regina airports have posted some recent flight delays and cancellations, knocking back a handful of out-of-province flights both in and out of the city several hours.

Regina International Airport cancelled flights to and from Calgary, while in Saskatoon some flights going to Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary have been cancelled.

In an email, a Saskatoon airport spokesperson said nine of 15 scheduled arrivals were cancelled yesterday because of the storm, and six of 15 departures were cancelled.

"As of this morning, operations are slowly returning to normal," the email said. "Given the continuing weather and IT challenges, we strongly recommend all passengers check on the status of their flight directly with their airline."

In Regina, blowing snow is causing visibility concerns, and while not all cancellations or delays can be attributed to the storm,  "we definitely expect flights to be impacted during a weather event like we're seeing last night into today," a Regina International Airport spokesperson said.