Valley hit with wintery blast

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Drumheller, like most of South­ern Al­berta, was dig­ging out Mon­day af­ter win­ter storms tore through the area. Res­i­dents saw the snow start to fall over the week­end, how­ever, Mon­day morn­ing the valley was blan­keted in a win­ter won­der­land.

What were not won­drous were the roads. Golden Hills School Di­vi­sion saw a num­ber of bus routes can­celled, in­clud­ing Drumheller Ru­ral. Christ the Re­deemer School Di­vi­sion saw most of the bus routes be­gin on time, but did ex­pe­ri­ence some de­lays. Ru­ral bus ser­vice was can­celled in Strath­more and Brooks.

Di­rec­tor of In­fras­truc- ture Ser­vices for the Town of Drumheller Dar­ryl Dro­homer­ski re­ported that on Sun­day crews were out sand­ing and by 6 a.m. Mon­day, plows were on the road.

“They are all out and work­ing, I went by the shop this morn­ing and there was not a piece of equip­ment in the build­ing, “said Dro­homer­ski.

He ex­plains that the town has a spe­cific pro­to­col in the event of snow­fall as to what roads are cleared.

“If peo­ple are cu­ri­ous or con­cerned, they can go to the town’s web site to look at the snow clear­ing map. We have a snow re­moval strat­egy with all of the streets iden­ti­fied with pri­or­ity as to when they get done,” he said.

De­spite best-laid plans, he said be­cause of drift­ing a cou­ple roads, in­clud­ing River­side Drive, were cleared ahead of reg­u­lar sched­ule.

‘” We do it as ex­pe­di­ently as we pos­si­bly can, know­ing there are some ar­eas that have a bit more drift­ing than oth­ers,” he said.

Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles said with the weather there were a few in­ci­dents on the roads, how­ever, it ap­pears that driv­ers adapted to the weather.

“With this amount of snow, I think peo­ple are wise enough to slow down so that kind of mit­i­gates a lot of calls,” he said. “We have had a few calls, for­tu­nately, noth­ing too se­ri­ous.”

In many cases, peo­ple are stay­ing off the rods.

“With road con­di­tions like this, the town and the high­way work­ers want to get out there and plow the roads. They have a lot of pave­ment to clear, so it is go­ing go take some time to clear, and the con­di­tions are atro­cious, so if you don’t need to travel, don’t, stay home, stay safe,” he said.

“If you are trav­el­ling, the big­gest thing is to slow down and take your time to get where you want to go safely,” said Charles.

He also says it is im­por­tant to be pre­pared for the con­di­tions.

“It is al­ways good to have some emer­gency equip­ment with you in your ve­hi­cle through­out the win­ter, some warm cloth­ing, blan­kets, flash lights and things of that na­ture. Make sure you have a phone and charger so if you hit the ditch you and call a tow truck,” he said.

Like Al­berta spring weather, fore­casts show snow to end and a warm­ing trend later this week.

mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Michael Thomas of Western Chev had his hands full Mon­day morn­ing us­ing his back­pack blower to clear off in­ven­tory at the deal­er­ship af­ter snow blan­keted the valley, bring­ing with it treach­er­ous road and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

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