The first snowfall of the year in southern Alberta paralyzed Calgary and surrounding areas on Tuesday morning: stuck buses, car accidents, about 60 canceled flights.
Twenty centimeters of snow fell on the Alberta metropolis on Tuesday, and Environment Canada is forecasting an additional 10 to 20 centimeters by Wednesday morning. The accumulations could however reach 45 cm in the mountains.
The roads were paralyzed in the morning, while the city’s snow clearers were trying to clear the main roads. “Our challenge has been the weather today,” admits Calgary Transit Director Doug Morgan.
About 80 public buses remained stuck in the snow during rush hour. The City had to call on firefighters and recycling trucks to clear cars.
The City has also called for help in the cities of Edmonton, Okotoks and Medicine Hat to get more snowplows. A parking ban will also be in effect from Wednesday morning at 10 am for a period of 72 hours.
Motorists who parked their car on a road marked Snow Routesign must move it, under penalty of a fine and see their towed vehicle.
An unusual weather event
It is not uncommon for Calgary to receive snowfall in early October, but the usual average is 10 cm for the entire month. “It’s a bit abnormal to have so much snow early in the month,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Natalie Hassell.
Jocelyne Bennett is a general assignment reporter at Spruce Tribune. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in Hamilton for more than 6 years. Jocelyne has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.