December 5th, 2020

Weekend blizzard brings closures, traffic chaos to local areas


By Lethbridge Herald on November 9, 2020.

A pair of graders works to clear snow from traffic lanes Monday afternoon along Stafford Drive South as City crews worked to dig out from the weekend's blizzard. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

LETHBRIDGE HERALD
Lethbridge and area continue to dig out from the weekend’s 24-hour blizzard which dumped 24 centimetres of snow over the area, which was then blown into drifts by strong winds while causing whiteout conditions.
The storm resulted in impassable roads in several areas and caused a huge traffic pileup on Highway 3 between Lethbridge and Coalhurst. Bridge Drive was closed due to the conditions and Lethbridge fire and police were responding to numerous multi-vehicle accidents Sunday afternoon.
Raymond RCMP also responded to multiple collisions on Highway 5 due to blowing snow, poor visibility and icy road conditions. Injuries were reported, RCMP said.
On Monday evening, Coaldale RCMP reported a semi-truck and trailer was jackknifed and blocking both lanes of Highway 3 approximately three kilometres west of Lethbridge due to high winds and icy roads.
The semi-truck was westbound on Highway 3 and lost control, resulting in the truck and trailer unit ending up jackknifed across both lanes of traffic. The driver was not injured. Highway 3 traffic was diverted at the Highway 25 off-ramp.
Lethbridge Transit was unable to operate on Monday, which resulted in the Lethbridge School Division closing its schools for the day. Classes were to resume today. The Horizon School Division and Palliser Regional Schools also closed their schools while the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division was already on a break this week.
And due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Kainai Board of Education has closed its schools through Friday.
The University of Lethbridge closed its Lethbridge campus on Monday, which also included the University Kids’ Campus Daycare. Lethbridge College moved all its Monday classes online and urged all students and employees to avoid coming to campus unless absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, City of Lethbridge said in a news release crews are responding to areas with drifting snow and snow plowing continues on priority routes.
Snow removal was set to begin on certain Priority 1 routes at 7 p.m. Monday including:
• Stafford Drive from 6 Avenue South to 4 Avenue North;
• 3 Avenue South from Stafford Drive South to Mayor Magrath Drive South;
• 6 Avenue South from Stafford Drive to Mayor Magrath Drive South;
• 13 Street South from 10 Avenue South to 9 Avenue North;
• 9 Avenue South from 13 Street South to Mayor Magrath Drive South; and
• 10 Avenue South from Scenic Drive South to Mayor Magrath Drive South.
The City is urging anyone who parks along these routes to voluntarily move their vehicles to give the large equipment room to work.
Bridge Drive was expected to reopen later Monday afternoon while City crews continue to ensure clear access to the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Testing Centre and Chinook Regional Hospital.
All sanding, snow removal and snow plowing routes are available at http://www.lethbridge.ca/WinterRoads.
More information on the City’s Snow and Ice Control program is available online at: http://www.lethbridge.ca/WinterRoads.
Light snow and scattered flurries are in the forecast today and Wednesday, respectively, before temperatures rebound above freezing for the rest of the week.

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