TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Wendy’s employee Jesse Kendel uses a snowblower to clear the restaurant parking lot after a Colorado low blanketed the Wheat City in snow on Saturday.
One week after the first meaningful snowfall of the winter season, Westman residents were again battered with a heavy snowstorm that remodelled the prairie landscape a deep white.
Cayden Glover dives in a pile of snow on his trampoline on Saturday as Calder Crossin and Devin Kerman-Forsythe look on. (CHARLES TWEED/BRANDON SUN)
Police were kept busy all weekend with a barrage of accidents, most of which were vehicles that lost control and found the ditch.
Shortly before midnight on Saturday, the Trans-Canada Highway was closed from Brandon to Headingley due to "poor winter driving conditions," according to the RCMP.
"We’ve been here since about one (a.m.)," Ivan Gradev said from the cab of his semi truck and trailer.
Gradev and his driving partner set out on Saturday morning, travelling from Calgary to Montreal. Their delay in the Wheat City is the second postponement in their trip already, after they were held up for about eight hours in Strathmore, Alta., just east of Calgary.
"There were too many trucks in the ditch yesterday — on the left, on the right. They were everywhere," Gradev said, estimating he saw about 10 semis in the ditch. "In Ontario and Quebec, the roads are cleared much better, but in the West it’s a disaster."
While RCMP reopened the highway at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, more than 30 minutes later Gradev was still waiting to get back on the road.
"The company (Day and Ross) sends us a message on the satellite when it is safe to travel again," Gradev said pointing to the digital satellite reader in his truck.
Gradev, who is paid by the mile when making cross-country trips, was eager to get back on the highway, but he also recognized that the roads were still dangerous even though the highway was reopened.
After being reopened, police and emergency services were busy as accidents on the Trans-Canada shut down parts of the road for a brief period of time as congestion and semi-truck drivers trying to make up for lost time played a role.
On Saturday, Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning for all of southern and central Manitoba, citing a Colorado low that set up conditions for a major snowstorm.
Most areas in Westman received between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow throughout the weekend, while Brandon recorded about 14 cm on Saturday alone.
The snow may have put a wrinkle in the transportation system, but for eight-year-old Cayden Glover and seven-year-old Calder Crossin, the precipitation was welcomed.
Fittingly, the pair battled the Brandon Storm hockey team to a win Saturday morning, before taking on the storm in another way that afternoon.
"I like the snow," Glover said before diving head first into a pile of snow on his family’s trampoline.
His four-year-old sister, Devin Kerman-Forsythe, agreed.
"We got his snowboard out this morning and I got to get out my sled," she said with snow falling all around her. "After, we’re going inside for a cup of hot cocoa."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 12, 2012