In what was turning out to be the winter that never came, southern Manitoba was walloped on Friday with a burst of blistery conditions as the calendar freshly flipped to March.
Winnipeg was digging out for most of the day as nearly 10 centimetres of snow fell on the city from overnight Thursday into Friday. By late yesterday afternoon — when Environment Canada predicted the system to end — the winds kicked back up creating hazardous driving conditions on area highways.
RCMP were forced to shutdown several highways, including the Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley to Portage la Prairie due to poor driving conditions. The main artery to the west eventually reopened mere hours later, just as others were closed, including Highway 75 south to Ste. Agathe. Emergency crews were also responding to vehicles in the ditch and a handful of minor collisions. Police were reminding motorists to reduce their speeds and use their headlights while travelling.
The streets should be more bearable today as the city has unleashed about 150 pieces of snow-clearing equipment to clean up the mess left by Mother Nature. Plows and sanding trucks will be out throughout the weekend to clean Priority II streets, including back lanes. An overnight snow route parking ban was not put into effect.
— With files from Stan Milosevic / ManitobaPhotos.com