Saskatchewan is no stranger to some wild winter weather. With temperatures reaching -40°C, blowing snow causing whiteouts, and Alberta Clippers that bring piles of snow, we all need to be prepared for the winter. Winter weather can cause a very complex array of hazards such as exposure to cold temperatures from power outages, poor visibility and black ice causing collisions, and frozen pipes creating loss of service and flooding.
One of the many issues a blizzard can cause is poor visibility (a.k.a. whiteout). Be mindful of current conditions by checking the Highway Hotline at https://hotline.gov.sk.ca/
Wherever possible, avoid traveling during whiteout conditions. That decision could be the difference between life and death.
Always be mindful of snow accumulation. Heavy snowfall combined with drifting snow can quickly build up causing a vehicle to get stuck or a roof to collapse. 120 cm of fresh snow, 30 cm of packed snow, or 10 cm of ice could cause a good roof to collapse. Even less accumulation is needed on a flat roof. Watch for signs of too much weight such as sagging ceiling tiles, pooping/cracking noises, stuck/stubborn windows and doors, cracks or leaks in walls and the roof.
Ice accumulation can happen fast under the right conditions. Whether you are driving, walking, or staying at home, be sure to regularly check build up of ice to prevent damage, structural collapse, or slippery conditions.
Did you know that 1 square foot of ice an inch thick can weigh 5 pounds? That add up fast when combined with snow and water.