Manitobans Advised to Prepare for Major Spring Snowstorm

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Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is advising Manitobans to take precautions and prepare for a major spring snowstorm expected to impact southern and southeastern Manitoba starting tomorrow around 6 p.m. and ending early Thursday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a storm watch for much of southern Manitoba with snowfall accumulations of up to 30 centimetres expected for much of southern and southeastern Manitoba. The forecasted snowstorm is also expected to impact the U.S. portion of the Red River basin. This snowstorm is expected to be accompanied by strong winds gusting up to 60 km/h from tomorrow afternoon to Thursday morning causing whiteout conditions.

Southwestern Manitoba received up to 20 centimetres of snow yesterday. Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre is monitoring the weather system and will issue updated river flow and river level forecasts once the system passes.

Power outages can occur during blizzards and Manitobans are encouraged to prepare basic emergency kits with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight. More information is available at www.manitoba.ca/emo/prepare/kit.html#basic.

Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is monitoring highway conditions and is prepared to deploy the province’s heavy equipment fleet, which includes approximately 350 truck plows, de-icing equipment and motor graders.

Highway closures are expected in some areas and Manitobans with travel plans are advised to stay home. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow and surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.

The province recommends the following road safety tips:

  • check the weather forecast and driving conditions before travelling;
  • delay or cancel trips if travel is not recommended;
  • ensure vehicles are in good winter driving condition;
  • completely clear all windows, mirrors and lights of snow and ice;
  • warm up vehicles to prevent window fogging;
  • allow extra time for travelling;
  • carry a winter emergency car kit;
  • if conditions worsen while driving, turn back or find a safe place to stop; and
  • advise others of departure, approximate travel time and travel route.

For more information about driving in winter conditions, visit www.gov.mb.ca/mit/roadinfo/winter.html.

Anyone choosing to travel is advised to check Manitoba 511 for current road conditions. While 511 is updated regularly by provincial road patrols, conditions can change in a matter of minutes.