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Highways, schools closed across southwestern Manitoba, as snowstorm blows through

Long stretches of highway were shut down Wednesday night, as a winter storm swept into southern Manitoba.

Environment Canada warned 10 to 20 centimetres of snow could fall starting Wednesday afternoon and ending overnight, thanks to a “fairly quick moving” low pressure system making its way into the region, the weather agency said.

Some areas were expected to see more significant snowfall, which could reduce visibility to almost zero.

As of 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, much of Highway 1 west of Winnipeg was closed, including 50 kilometres westbound between the Perimeter Highway and Highway 13 near Oakville, and about 120 kilometres in both directions between Brandon and the Saskatchewan border. 

Poor winter driving conditions, caused by blowing snow and poor visibility, also led to the closure of several other stretches of road in the southwestern part of the province, according to Manitoba 511:

  • Highway 1 westbound lanes, from Winnipeg to Highway 13.
  • Highway 1, from Saskatchewan Border to Brandon.
  • Highway 2, from Holland to west junction of Highway 21.
  • Highway 5, from Ochre River to Saskatchewan Border.
  • Highway 5, from Highway 2 to Highway 1.
  • Highway 10, from Highway 23 to Highway 1.
  • Highway 10, from Highway 25 to Cowan.
  • Highway 16, from Minnedosa to Saskatchewan Border.
  • Highway 20, from Ochre River to Fork River.
  • Highway 21, from Shoal Lake to Highway 259.
  • Highway 42, from Shoal Lake to St. Lazare.
  • Highway 45, from Highway 10 to Russell.
  • Highway 83, from Miniota to San Clara.
  • Highway 250, from Souris to Highway 1.
  • Highway 362 from Dauphin to Sifton.

Drivers are cautioned to stay updated on road conditions and watch out for snowplows, the province said in a media bulletin. 

Residents can go to Manitoba 511’s website to check road conditions.

A map shows areas of Manitoba under snowfall warnings.
Southern Manitoba was expected to see up to 20 cm over snow on Wednesday, Environment Canada says. (Riley Laychuck/CBC)

Earlier Wednesday, much of southern Manitoba had been under a snowfall warning, but as of 10:20 p.m. it remained in effect only in the Interlake region.

The City of Winnipeg said snowplow crews are ready to respond to the weather. In a news release Wednesday, the city also reminded residents that the annual winter route parking ban — which prohibits parking on designated winter streets — is still in effect between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Drivers violating that ban could be ticketed and towed. Winter routes are marked by signage, the city said.

Snow clearing updates are available online.

Home care delays

Some community health services, specifically home care services, could be impacted Wednesday evening and Thursday due to the weather, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said in a news release.

Weather-related service delays or cancellations are possible because of large amounts of snow and its impact on transportation and access to clients, the release said. The WRHA said in the release every effort will be made to maintain existing schedules, but some weather-related delays or cancellations “may be inevitable.” 

The WRHA also said in its release those whose home care visits are postponed or cancelled will be contacted by phone and notified of the change. The release also said depending on the type of service, some visits could be delayed, rescheduled or cancelled. 

People who want to cancel or postpone their visit can cancel their case co-ordinator, nurse or the after-hours service line at 204-788-8331, the release said. The regional health authority said it anticipates service will resume as per usual once the storm has cleared.

School, bus cancellations

The storm and poor driving conditions have prompted the cancellation of classes in the following:

  • Beautiful Plains School Division.
  • Brandon School Division: Alexander, O’Kelly and Spring Valley schools closed. School buses not operating outside the city. Attendance at schools is at parental discretion where travel is required.
  • Evergreen School Division.
  • Fort La Bosse School Division.
  • Franco-Manitoban School Division: École Saint-Lazare, École Jours de Plaine (Laurier), École La Source (Shilo), and Aurèle-Lemoine (Saint-Laurent) schools are closed. Buses are cancelled for École Saint-Georges, École Gilbert-Rosset (Saint-Claude), École communautaire Aurèle-Lemoine (Saint-Laurent), and École régionale Notre-Dame.
  • Lakeshore School Division.
  • Park West School Division.
  • Prairie Rose School Division: École St. Eustache, St. François Xavier Community School, St. Paul’s Collegiate, and the Hutterian colony schools are closed but other community schools are open. Buses are not operating across the division.
  • Red River School Division.
  • Southwest Horizon School Division.
  • Sunrise School Division.

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