Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City crews plow through

Their goal: Clear residential streets by Wednesday a.m.

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TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
The snowstorm created poor driving conditions in southern Manitoba, causing many accidents.

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TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS The snowstorm created poor driving conditions in southern Manitoba, causing many accidents.

THE city expects to wrap up snow-clearing efforts on major streets this morning and move on to residential streets tonight.

Winnipeg is in the midst of the first big clearing operation of the new year, thanks to a storm that began early Friday and continued into the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Truck plows finished clearing snow from regional streets Saturday, and grading of those streets is expected to wrap up this morning, city spokeswoman Michelle Finley said.

Plowing of collector streets and bus routes also began Saturday, and plowing of back lanes is slated to begin today at 7 a.m.

As announced late last week, the city plans to begin clearing residential streets tonight at 7 p.m. and expects to finish the job Wednesday morning. The city has declared a residential parking ban, which applies to specific snow zones for the 12-hour periods when plowing is expected within those zones.

According to Environment Canada, the first snowstorm of 2014 ended at about 4 a.m. Saturday when snow stopped falling but continued to drift across city streets and highways around the city.

The storm contributed to hundreds of accident reports in Winnipeg, poor driving conditions across southern Manitoba and a temporary closure of Interstate 29 in North Dakota on Friday night and Saturday morning.

One collision in the city saw a snow-clearing vehicle take out a hydro pole on Berry Street in St. James, knocking out power to 84 homes on Saturday. Three poles and a transformer bank had to replaced, said Manitoba Hydro public affairs manager Scott Powell, who was not sure whether a city vehicle or a contractor was involved in the collision.

Roads outside the city remained in spotty condition late in the day. As of Saturday evening, the Perimeter Highway remained partly covered in snow, according to Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.

There were reports of empty shelves at Winnipeg grocers, with at least one store informing customers highway conditions were to blame.

Environment Canada says there's a 30 per cent chance of more flurries in Winnipeg this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to remain more than 10 degrees below normal, with highs between -25 C and -22 C until Wednesday, the federal weather service predicts.

The medium-term forecast calls for a more seasonal high of -10 C on Thursday and an above-normal high of -6 C on Friday.

According to Environment Canada statistics, the second week in January tends to be the coldest of the year. But unusually cold weather in December means January will provide respite from the deep freeze even if temperatures don't rise above the normal range for this time of year: daytime highs of -13 C and nighttime lows of -23 C.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2014 A3

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