Snowdrifts and frigid temperatures bring Monday misery to Central Alberta

The biggest chill yet has paired with heavy snowdrifts to create Monday morning misery across the board throughout Central Alberta.

The biggest chill yet has paired with heavy snowdrifts to create Monday morning misery across the board throughout Central Alberta.

While Red Deer drivers struggled to get out of their yards this morning, people further west have been hit with a record low of -37C at sunrise. The extreme cold prompted Wolf Creek school officials to shut down their schools and leave their buses parked.

Temperatures in Red Deer hit -35, nudging close to the 1972 record of -37.2.

Further east, people in the Coronation area woke to -33, almost one degree cooler than their record of -32.4, set in 2004.

While buses within the city were still running and Red Deer Public School District kept all but the Gateway Christian School open, the Red Deer Public Works Department has called in reinforcements to deal with clogged side streets.

Main roads are in good shape, said roads superintendent Jim Chase. But Public Works staff have fielded numerous calls from people whose streets are impassable because of drifting snow over the weekend, said Chase.

Public Works staff are reviewing the complaints and sending graders in to clear as many residential roads as possible. Extra graders from Border Paving have been hired to help out.

However, clearing residential roads is difficult because of the number of vehicles parked on the streets, says Chase. The graders are attempting to open the centre of the streets, leaving people on their own to shovel their vehicles out.

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