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City details emergency preparedness plans in the event of severe winter storm forecast for this weekend

For immediate release: November 5, 2020 - 2:29pm

The City is planning for the strong possibility that Saskatoon will be hit by a severe winter storm this weekend. The City’s Emergency Management Organization (EMO) is overseeing the necessary emergency preparedness. 

The winter storm that is being predicted is one that has the potential to interfere in our residents’ ability to safely navigate the city this weekend,” says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, EMO Director. “For this reason, we need to all prepare for the possibility that we might need to stay home for a few days and plan accordingly.” 

City snow crews are on standby and are prepared to begin clearing and de-icing when needed. During the snowfall, efforts will be focused on the busiest streets and access to emergency services. To respond to this storm, a combination of city crews and contractors will be used, including:15 graders, 10 plows with sanders, 4 underbelly plows, 20 sanders, 11 sidewalk plows and a number of loaders, dozers and snow- blowers. The City will bring in additional contractors if necessary. 

“We’ll have as many as 200 workers out clearing the city, and that’s pretty significant,” says Terry Schmidt, General Manager of Transportation and Construction. “If the snow is as bad as predicted, it’s possible that streets may get snowdrifts or icy conditions between passes from our equipment. Drivers will need to take great care and even stay off the streets if they can.” 

Polls are scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 9th) for voters to attend in-person. We encourage voters to follow safety precautions and plan to have lots of time to get to and from voting locations taking into account road conditions. 

There is the possibility that a severe enough storm could result in power disruptions due to wet, heavy snow interfering with power lines. Saskatoon Light & Power staff are ready to respond as needed.  

With the substantial snowfall expected over the weekend, Saskatoon Transit will do everything possible to maintain schedules but there could be delays while crews are working to clear streets. Transit service alerts, real-time bus locations, and arrivals are available on third party apps like Transit and Google Transit on desktop. Access Transit may be affected by heavy snow on residential streets. 

There is also a possibility that, because leaves are not fully off the trees, wet heavy snow may cause limbs to fall.Parks crews are ready to deal with any issues that arise. 

How residents can help: 

  • Clear sidewalks as best you can. 

  • Exercise caution when in the proximity of snow maintenance equipment. 

  • Report power outages, fallen tree limbs, or icy road patches to 306-975-2476. 

  • Have a 3-day supply of what your family needs on-hand including water, food, any medical requirements. 

  • Avoid travel – stay home