Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

When the weather outside is frightful...: Here comes trouble, motorists

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THIS might be a really good day to get a new car battery or join CAA Manitoba.

Environment Canada forecasts the temperature will plunge starting Saturday, and daily highs will be between -21 C and -24 C right through midweek. Overnight lows could drop to -30 C.

Feel free to shiver.

"We're definitely going to be inundated by calls for dead batteries," CAA Manitoba public affairs director Liz Peters said Thursday.

It will be bad on the weekend, but come Monday when everyone's up for work and school, "They're probably going to be waiting more than two hours," for a boost, Peters said.

"Plug in is the best advice we can give," Peters said.

So far this week, "90 per cent of (CAA's) calls have been from people who need winches out of snowbanks," a ratio that will be reversed for battery boosts, Peters said.

CAA Manitoba has about 200,000 members, Peters said. A basic membership gets four free service calls a year for $88. Without a membership, "A single tow is about the same," she pointed out.

City officials said Thursday Winnipeg has had 17 centimetres so far in the heaviest snowfall of the season.

City crews will start plowing back lanes at 7 a.m. today.

Due to overnight snowfall, strong winds and drifting conditions, a truck-plowing operation was initiated overnight Wednesday into Thursday and is continuing on main routes, bus routes and collectors. Plowing will continue until completed.

Plowing of sidewalks on main routes, bus routes and collector streets is also underway and will continue until completed.

About 300 pieces of equipment will be used for this cleanup operation, estimated to cost approximately $1 million, city officials said.

The declared snow route parking ban remains in effect on streets designated as snow routes between the hours of midnight to 7 a.m.

The public works department is continuing to monitor and assess the residential network -- no decision has been made regarding the plowing of residential streets, the city said Thursday.

The department will address areas of drifting if a residential street becomes impassable.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2013 B1

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