February 28th, 2024

Roads worsen as weather continues to flip flop

By COLLIN GALLANT on December 29, 2022.

A worker clears a bus stop sidewalk with a snowblower as traffic passes by on Maple Avenue on Wednesday in Medicine Hat. Light snow covering freezing ran and melting snow earlier in the week made for continuing challenges getting around town.--News photo Collin Gallant


Motorists, pedestrians, road crews and police continued to grapple with a thawing packed snow, freezing rain and new snow on Wednesday.

Roadways remained slick and travellers were warned to delay trips, if possible, or use extreme caution.

Medicine Hat police traffic section head Sgt. Stacey Fishley told the News that 24 collisions were reported in 48 hours, including two hit-and-runs, but no injuries were reported.

“City crews have done a good job of getting some traction won, but it is still slippery out there,” said Fishley. “We’re asking people to slow it down, or if you don’t have to go out, that would be best.”

Larger problems continued in the region.

A Canadian Pacific freight train derailed near the junction of Highways 3 and 36, near Taber, at about midnight on Wednesday morning. No hazardous goods were aboard the 11 cars that left the tracks, but cleanup of the scene left the RCMP directing alternating traffic on one lane for both directions into the day on Wednesday. (See Page A5)

The Swift Current Broncos postponed their trip to Medicine Hat to play the Tigers on Wednesday night owing to poor road conditions throughout southwest Saskatchewan.

In the city, Medicine Hat Transit, which cancelled routes for part of the day Tuesday, was up and running a full schedule of buses on Wednesday.

Municipal works officials said a full complement of crews, contractors and machinery were deployed overnight Tuesday onward, but progress was at times slow.

“We had a lot of melting and that froze overnight, then we got rain and a new blanket of moisture,” said Jeremy Petryshyn, operations manager for the city surface assets department, on Tuesday evening.

“That covered every road, sidewalk, parking lot – basically the entire city was a sheet of ice.”

“We made a lot of progress during the day. We had a full complement of sanders out from 7 a.m. and some will stay on all night.”

Petryshyn said drivers should remain aware and cautious throughout the week.

“It will continue to be a challenge,” he said.

Highways nearest Medicine Hat remained bare and dry, according to the Alberta highway’s report at 511.alberta.ca.

Highway 41 near Schuler and northward to Oyen was ice-covered, and poor visibility was noted for southern Cypress County and areas near Foremost.

Secondary highways were closed in the afternoon between Leader and Maple Creek, according to the Saskatchewan department of Highways. A semi-truck was reported stuck on a hill east of Burstall. Travel was not recommended along the Trans-Canada Highway, between Gull Lake and Cabri, or southwest of Eastend.

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