Blowing snow, low visibility and icy roadways continued to plague Saskatchewan Tuesday.
RCMP recommended drivers heed all warnings, travel advisories and closures on the Highway Hotline, even if weather is good at the time of departure.
But not everyone could get out of their driveways in order to hit the road.
Environment Canada issued a blowing snow advisory Tuesday for central Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon, where many people woke up to large snow drifts blocking their vehicles.
Wilson Carcamo, who lives on Kinloch Crescent in Parkridge, shovelled for more than an hour to free his car.
He said there was so much blowing snow, it had drifted up to his car bumper.
“Basically I had to shovel it all out, just to get through,” Carcamo said, adding many of neighbours were in a similar situation.
Fast-forming snow drifts also caused a headache for city crews, as efforts to plow and grade streets were impacted by the changing conditions Tuesday.
“Mid-morning we brought out graders to hit some of the outlying areas because snow drifts were getting so large, that it was actually become impassable in some areas,” said Brandon Harris, the city’s director of roadways and operations.
By early Tuesday afternoon, the city adjusted their tactics again, putting all graders in outlying neighbourhoods.
“As the wind has continued to pick up through the afternoon, we’re seeing cars stranded,” Harris said.
Crews continued to patrol major routes such as Circle Drive and Idylwyld Drive to ensure snow drifts were not impeding traffic. Additionally, city sand trucks have also been using “pre-wet material” in response to the high wind gusts.
“It makes the sand and salt heavier, and it also helps it stick to the surface,” Harris said.
Loaders are working to ensure roads are passable in suburban neighbourhoods. Sidewalk clearing is ongoing, but the paths can easily be covered again due to drifts.
Due to strong winds, the city has temporarily closed the landfill.
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Winter weather also kept some in Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation from venturing out of the community.
“It’s the kind of day you don’t want to leave your place, but you have to get to work,” said band Coun. Jeremy Seeseequasis.
He said the main road through town was in good shape Tuesday morning, and schools were still open, but buses were cancelled.
“Parents have declared a snow day for their children,” Seeseequasis said.
The weather also impacted arriving and departing flights for Saskatoon and Regina Tuesday morning.
Environment Canada forecasts winds to die down by Wednesday, with clear skies and colder temperatures for the rest of the week.
– With files from 650 CKOM’s Chris Carr and Chris Vandenbreekel.