Police say drivers handled the Wednesday morning commute just fine despite more than 10 cm of snow accumulating before 6 a.m.
No more than the usual number of collisions were reported to Red Deer City RCMP by mid-afternoon, said Cpl. Kathe DeHeer.
An exact figure was not available as DeHeer said people occasionally do not report collisions until later on.
“This may have been a big dump, but we had a slow entry into winter driving conditions,” she said.
“And I think that probably helped a lot.”
There were only a handful of incidents on Hwy 2, none of which were serious.
Cpl. Al Nickolson with Innisfail Integrated Traffic Unit said there were three collisions, four cars hit the ditch and a semi-truck had to be chained up Antler Hill.
He still urged commuters to slow down and drive for the conditions.
“Just because it says 110 doesn’t mean you can actually go that speed.”
No accidents were reported on the busy highway north of Red Deer, according to Const. Chris Noble with Ponoka Freeway Patrol.
He did add, however, that the area north of Lacombe received significantly less snow than Red Deer and further south.
About 12 cm of snow blanketed the city overnight, the bulk of which fell between midnight and 6 a.m., said Environment Canada forecaster Greg Pearce.
The winter wallop wasn’t nearly enough to break the record snowfall for a single day in November — a distinction that belongs to Nov. 10, 1938, when just over 20 cm of powder fell.
But it was enough to push the region over the average accumulation for the month of November, Pearce said. More than 25 cm fell in the month that typically sees 17 cm.
The City of Red Deer had a full fleet out plowing and sanding roads at 2 a.m. Wednesday, said Jim Chase, roads superintendent.
Crews completed all priority one roads — hills, bridges and high traffic intersections — by 8:30 a.m. and were to spend the rest of the day completing priority two roads, which are the remaining major roadways like 32nd Street.
Chase asked residents to be patient as crews work, explaining the department’s target time to complete priority one roads is eight hours.
“We can’t get it all done in one hour . . . . It takes time to get to them all,” he said.
The white stuff will likely not stick around for long. Pearce said the weather forecast is calling for mild temperature near or above zero starting today and well into next week.