CALGARY — Southern Alberta awoke to a shovelling nightmare Tuesday morning after an intense blizzard wreaked havoc on roads, closed schools, grounded flights and even shut down part of the Trans-Canada Hwy.
Up to 25 cm of snow was expected to fall on the city and much of the southern part of the province, as the system moved east towards Saskatchewan.
Motorists had to navigate blowing snow and treacherous road conditions that caused at least 70 crashes on Monday.
Scores of collisions Monday kept police busy, including a 24-vehicle crash in Calgary to start off the evening rush hour.
Most flights were cancelled and others delayed at Calgary International Airpor on Monday and Tuesday morning. The same happened in Edmonton, but that city — and much of northern Alberta — actually escaped the worst of it.
Most schools in southern Alberta were closed Tuesday, with no buses running.
Transportation spokeswoman Carissa Vescio said Calgary road crews were out in full force clearing Priority 1 routes and major commuter roads.
"The wind created a bit of a challenge because of the blowing snow," she said.
Canada Olympic Park closed the ski hill Monday due to the high winds and wind chill, with plans to reopen it Wednesday.
On the Trans-Canada Hwy. at Hwy. 21 east of Strathmore, RCMP were called Monday to a pileup involving numerous transport trucks and cars, vehicles in the ditch or ones that became stuck in impassable snow drifts.
Snow plows were taken off the road due to the unsafe conditions which included strong winds of 50 to 80 km/h and zero visibility.