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How the City of Winnipeg is preparing for winter’s first gasp

With snow forecasted in much of southern Manitoba for the first time this winter, the City of Winnipeg is primed to pounce on the first flakes of the season.

Ken Allen, a spokesperson with the city’s public works department, says they are monitoring the system said to be bringing winter’s first helping of the white stuff.

“Right now there’s some uncertainty about exactly how that system is going to hit us and the snow accumulations involved, but we know the temperatures are going to be mild,” he said in an interview on CTV Morning Live Winnipeg on Wednesday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued a snowfall warning Tuesday for parts of southern Manitoba, including Brandon, Morden, Winkler and Virden.

It notes a Montana low-pressure system will begin to spread into southwestern Manitoba on Wednesday morning before moving on to the Red River Valley in the afternoon.

It’s expected to taper off overnight.

ECCC notes areas close to the American border will see the highest amounts with 24-hour total snowfall accumulations close to 20 cm.

However, the agency also predicts Winnipeg is likely to see the flakes fly on Wednesday, with as much as five cm falling before Thursday morning.

Allen says crews and equipment are ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature brings our way.

“We’re looking at when the system comes, getting into salting operations on the main routes,” he said.

Salt is used to improve traction on roadways in milder temperatures, like the ones Manitoba is experiencing now. Once temperatures drop below a -7 C threshold, sand is swapped in.

He reminds motorists to slow down and drive to winter conditions, and be mindful of snow clearing crews and equipment.


New this year — P3 residential streets and sidewalks will be plowed after five cm of snow has fallen.

In the past, they would only be plowed after eight cm of snow accumulated.

The change is thanks to an update to the council-approved policy on snow clearing and ice control.

“Depending on the weather and snow that we get, we would be in there plowing those P3 walks and pathways more frequently,” he said.

Allen notes there are no winter route parking bans in place yet, but they will come later this winter. The city will give seven days advance notice before declaring one.

Winnipeggers are encouraged to download the Know Your Zone app or visit the city’s website for up-to-date information about winter parking bans.

“We really want people to be in the know about snow.”

– With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagacé

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