Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting a significant snowfall and high winds for Saskatoon starting Tuesday. Rain is expected to start this evening, which may result in slippery sidewalks as people head to work. City crews will be applying salt to keep freeways, intersections, on/off ramps and bridge decks from freezing.

“Fortunately, we are not staring down a storm like we experienced last year,” says Goran Saric, Director of Roadways, Fleet and Support. “However, there will still be lots of snow and strong winds which will create challenging driving conditions on Tuesday and into Wednesday. 

“Our crews are ready and will be out to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and Saskatoon Transit, but we’re asking everyone to consider delaying non-essential trips outside of Saskatoon. If you need to travel, make sure you have a vehicle emergency kit and charged cell phone.”

As the snow begins in Saskatoon Tuesday, City crews and equipment will plow Circle Drive and on/off ramps until the snow stops. Reduced visibility on Saskatoon streets may occur during the day Tuesday with combination of snow falling and wind up to 80 km/h into the evening.

Emergency Management Organization Director Pamela Goulden-McLeod says the Cold Weather Strategy for Saskatoon’s vulnerable is activated with warming shelters open for those who need them.

“Using a whole-community approach to emergency management there are over twenty organizations involved with the Cold Weather Strategy. These organizations, under the leadership of the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership, work to make sure that individuals and families experiencing or at risk-of homelessness are aware of safe available sleeping options and warming locations.”

Goulden-McLeod also reminds all residents and businesses that we each have a role to play in emergency planning and review winter storm planning to make sure they are prepared when it happens.  

High winds could create disruption in electrical service. Trees can sometimes contact with above-ground power lines causing breaks or downed lines.

“If a tree falls onto a line stay at least 10 metres or three car lengths away from it and stay away from other equipment that comes into contact with the line,” says Trevor Bell, Director of Saskatoon Light & Power. “If the line is on the ground, call 9-1-1 immediately and stay back.”

Ten to 15 cm of snow is expected, and a Snow Event will be declared once the snow stops. Contractor graders will join the City fleet in the priority street cleanup on freeways, arterial and collector streets, storing snow on medians, boulevards and in parking lanes. Specialized crews will clear City facility sidewalks, Meewasin Trail, park pathways with street lighting and bridge/overpass walkways at the same time. Given the forecast, it is very unlikely that the new Roadways Emergency Response Plan (PDF) will be triggered for this snow event. Activating the plan would be considered after a blizzard with snow accumulations of at least 25 centimetres and mobility reduced to the point light vehicles cannot drive on city streets, to add extra staffing and contractor resources for city-wide grading and snow removal.

Learn more about the City’s priority street grading plan at saskatoon.ca/snow. Look-up your address on the Street Grading Priority Streets map to see if snow grading happens on your street after a snow event. For Saskatoon Ligh & Power customers, refer to the new interactive power outage map if you experience an issue. 

For more City of Saskatoon news, program information, Service Alerts, Traffic Detours, and links to our social media channels, please visit saskatoon.ca.