City issues parking ban after major snowfall

Alex Di Pietro
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The city of Prince Albert issued a rare parking ban Monday after it took just a day-and-a-half for about 19 centimetres of snow to fall.

Services from the city’s snow-clearing team were in high demand Monday after almost 20 centimetres of snow was dumped on Prince Albert over a day-and-a-half.

“It’s not very often that it happens,” the city’s operations manager Alain Trudel said of issuing the parking ban. “When we get about four inches of snow or greater and the weather doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon, we will issue that parking ban so that (snow-clearing) efforts can be addressed really quickly.”

Snow-clearing crews focused primarily on priority 1 areas Monday and will move on to priority 2 areas Tuesday.

The city has four priority routes. Priority 1 consists of the major arterial and emergency routes, priority 2 consists of the collector roads, city bus routes and school zones, priority 3 consists of the central business district and priority 4 consists of residential areas.

Trudel said signs will be posted once crews are ready to plow in residential areas.

“Crews started at 5 a.m. this morning and they’re going to go until this evening,” he said Monday afternoon. “And again, we’re going to have some of them come in at 3 in the morning doing a little bit of work around Central Ave. ...  It’s going to be a long week for some of our operators.”

Trudel said the ban would probably be lifted by Tuesday morning and that most of the arterials would be open by Monday evening.

From 1971 to 2000, the average snowfall for the entire month of December was 19.6 centimetres in Prince Albert, according to Environment Canada’s national climate data and information archive.

“Prince Albert, since last night, got something like 15 or 16 centimetres,” warning preparedness meteorologist Natalie Hasell said Monday at noon, noting the snowfall warning had been ended.

Add in Sunday’s total of three centimetres, and Prince Albert almost equalled its average amount of snowfall for the entire month of December in just 36 hours. Hasell noted that there was one day of extreme snowfall on Dec. 17, 1967 where 18.8 centimetres of snow fell.

The latest snowfall is also the largest Prince Albert has faced so far this winter season. Hasell said Environment Canada is not expecting anymore significant precipitation or accumulation carrying on into Tuesday but that there would be a small possibility of flurries on Wednesday.

“It really looked like the bulk of it was done,” she said. “However, we are looking at a situation where the track of these storms isn’t really going to change very much ... The Wednesday forecast looks very interesting in Prince Albert ... Your highs during the day are jumping by 14 or 15 degrees. Chances are this is a sign that another low-pressure system is going to come and affect the area.”

*UPDATE: The parking ban has been extended until the early afternoon on Tuesday.*

Organizations: Prince Albert, Environment Canada

Geographic location: Central Ave

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