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Digging out in the Prairies

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

October 29, 2010 — The heavy snow has stopped falling in most parts of the Prairies, but now patches of freezing fog are leading to slick conditions on the roads. Temperatures have also plummeted.

Snowfall totals in Saskatchewan so far
Snowfall totals in Saskatchewan so far

A powerful storm that brought gusty winds and heavy snow to the eastern Prairies is now losing steam, but some residents still have some cleaning up to do.

Parts of Saskatchewan were hammered with impressive amounts of snow. Kenosse Lake was buried under 18 cm and 15 cm fell in Yorkton. About 11 cm accumulated in Estevan.

There wasn't quite as much snow in Saskatoon and Regina, but it was enough to make for some traffic nightmares. The deteriorating conditions forced police to close the Trans-Canada Highway from Regina east to the Manitoba boundary on Wednesday afternoon. Several transport trucks jackknifed and numerous crashes were reported.

One Stormline caller from Tisdale, Saskatchewan on Tuesday said, “I've been driving 25 years and have a little rental car and the car was blown completely off the road. Luckily someone pulled me out...The road from Tisdale to Hudson Bay is littered with vehicles. Do not drive, it's not worth the risk!”

Fog expected across the Prairies Friday
Fog expected across the Prairies Friday

In addition to the snow, wind gusts up to 80 km/h were also helping to reduce the visibility on the roads. In Manitoba, the winds were strong enough to whip water in off several lakes. A local state of emergency was declared in Gimli and Winnipegosis because of flooding.

Conditions have since improved across the Prairies, but temperatures have cooled down significantly.

“Temperatures are struggling to reach 0°C in some places, and wind chills are making it feel about 10 degrees cooler,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “Some areas will still see limited visibility because of winds blowing the snow around.”

Dense fog will also help to reduce visibility on the roads.

“As our monster storm moved out and the cooler air moved in, there's a chance for some isolated dense fog across the region. With many places seeing snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures, there's the possibility for freezing fog Friday night as well,” notes Dillon.

To stay up-to-date on your local forecast details, click our Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV for our coverage of this storm.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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