Winter Storm Response: snow clearing efforts, civic facilities, and service level impacts
Saskatoon experienced a severe blizzard with high amounts of snowfall and strong winds which have created drifting on roads and sidewalks. Freezing rain has also created a layer of ice underneath the snow. This is an incredibly challenging situation and the City is working 24/7 to respond and get Saskatoon moving again.
The majority of streets throughout the city are completely blocked with snow. Circle Drive is passable, but some ramps are not. College Drive, 8th Street, 22nd Street and Idywyld Drive have barely one lane open. All other Priority 1 streets are blocked with snow.
Priority streets include Circle Drive, College Drive, Idylwyld Drive, 8th Street, 22nd Street, bridges, overpasses and ramps.
“Last night was a challenge as we were having to balance plowing and grading with helping emergency services rescue stranded motorists,” says Goran Saric, Director of Roadways, Fleet and Support. “We’re staying focused on our priority road system. Once the highest priority streets are cleared, we’ll move through the rest of the system, at times returning to the highest priority roads multiple times to improve mobility.”
The City is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel so clearing can continue and emergency vehicles can get through. If travel is necessary, adjust for driving conditions and watch for snow removal crews equipped with blue and amber flashing lights. Stay a safe distance behind and be prepared to stop quickly. Some traffic signs and signals are covered with snow, so drivers should practice extra caution at intersections.
More information on the City’s snow clearing efforts can be found at saskatoon.ca/snow
Civic Facilities and Service Impacts
Transit service is suspended and will resume service once Priority 1 streets become accessible. Service will be expanded as conditions allow. For updates check the real-time mobile app, transit or visit saskatoontransit.ca/service-alerts. All non-essential Access Transit trips have been canceled. Affected customers will be contacted. Call 306-975-3555 with any questions or concerns.
Garbage and Recycling
Garbage and Recycling collection for Monday has been suspended. Collection has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 14. The Landfill opening has been delayed.
Leisure Centres will remain closed today to all programming, rentals and Book-a-Visit drop-in activities. Shaw Centre (Bethlehem Gymnasium) and the Cliff Wright Branch Library in Lakewood Civic Centre will remain open as election polling stations from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Shaw, Cosmo, Lakewood and Lawson Civic Centres will also be open from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for election ballot drop-off locations. In addition, all City Arenas will remain closed until at least 4:00 p.m.
Civic Election - Monday, November 9
Polling locations for the 2020 Civic Election are scheduled to be open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Election workers are experiencing difficulties getting to their polling places and some locations are not yet open. The Election Office asks voters for patience as City road crews work to respond to this weekend’s severe winter storm. As crews need time and space this morning, voters are encouraged to plan to visit polling locations this afternoon. For updates, visit saskatoon.ca/vote2020.
The City has now moved into recovery mode.
Continue to ensure your own safety over the coming days:
- Reach out to people who may require support:
- More than 300 people in Saskatoon are self-isolating due to COVID-19.
- Consider whether any of your neighbours may need assistance, including those that are seniors or have disabilities.
- If travel is necessary:
- Equip yourself with an emergency kit containing warm clothes, blankets, candles, snacks and a shovel.
- Try not to travel alone. Have someone else who can assist you in the vehicle
- Be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you arrive.
- Plan for delays.
- Activate the GPS locator app on your smartphone (‘Find My’ on iPhone and ‘Find My Device’ on Android) to allow assigned contacts to track you.
- A more detailed list of emergency preparedness tips can be found at saskatoon.ca/snowstorm2020
Residents are encouraged to subscribe to NotifyNow for updates on public safety messages.