Pandas, puppies enjoying early Calgary snowstorm while residents groan
Ben Cousins and Daniel Otis, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, October 2, 2018 10:08AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 2, 2018 9:32PM EDT
As a thick layer of snowfall blanketed much of southwestern Alberta, not everyone was frustrated with the early bout of snowfall.
Calgary and other parts of Alberta are being hit with up to 40 centimetres of snow Tuesday as an ongoing storm smacks the region, but the pandas at the Calgary Zoo appeared to be enjoying themselves.
- For complete coverage of the Calgary snowstorm, visit CTV Calgary
The zoo posted three pictures of the animals frolicking in the snow with the caption: “Early winter is perfect for panda playtime.”
Dogs also appear to be enjoying the weather. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi encouraged Calgarians on Twitter to post pictures of their dogs playing in the snow with the hashtag #YYCsnowpups. The hashtag features several dogs enjoying the snow while out on a walk.
The Calgary Flames seem to be looking on the bright side as well, tweeting “At least it’s hockey weather” with a picture of trees outside the Scotiabank Saddledome covered in snow.
While some enjoyed a welcome snow day, the early blizzard caused headaches for commuters in Calgary. Local police reported 95 accidents overnight, including seven involving injuries.
On social media, some users took the time to voice their frustrations with the early snowfall using the hashtag #ABstorm.
“Looks like a good day to work from home,” Carly Schmidt wrote on Twitter, with a picture of her street covered in snow.
“I just can't wrap my head around the fact that Calgary is COVERED in snow,” another user wrote.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Calgary and the rest of southwestern Alberta with up to 40 centimetres expected by the end of the day. The federal weather agency added that an additional 10 to 20 centimetres was expected Tuesday night while certain mountainous regions could experience 30 centimetres.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson described the storm as an “unseasonably harsh dose of winter.”
The storm has given Calgary its snowiest fall day since 1945, its snowiest October day since 1914 and its overall snowiest day since April 2003.
The snow storm is expected to taper off by this evening in Jasper as it heads south. It is expected to clear out of the region by Wednesday.
In the meantime, Nenshi said city officials have opened the emergency operations centre to help residents with the heavy snowfall.
YYC Transportation says crews are focusing on clearing major roadways, but progress has been slow due to the heavy snow. At least 80 city busses found themselves stuck during morning rush hour while many busses on hillier routes were being detoured Tuesday. City staff, such as firefighters and waste management workers, have been also diverted from regular duties to help free stuck busses. Transport officials are urging Calgarians to avoid roads and take the city’s light rail transit system when possible.Snow clearing equipment was also sent to Calgary from other Alberta cities like Edmonton and Red Deer.
While many in Calgary went online to vent their frustrations with the slow snow cleanup, Nenshi offered them some pointed words.
“You can’t plow it before it falls,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “If anyone actually figures out how to do that, that would be awesome. But even if you clear it before rush hour and it’s snowing that heavily during rush hour, it’s not going to help much -- which we did and it’s still not going to help much.”
At the Calgary International Airport, some delays are expected throughout the day. Travellers are urged to check ahead for possible flight delays.
Despite the treacherous driving conditions, schools and school buses in the area remained operational Tuesday.
Sometimes it’s quicker to ski than to drive?? ⛷❄️ Check out this video sent in to us from Selina Renfrow on Centre Street just before 6th Ave #yyc #yycroads #yyctraffic #abstorm @CTVCalgary @CTVMorningYYC pic.twitter.com/MXZfUah1o1— Mark Villani (@CTVMarkVillani) October 2, 2018
Early winter is perfect for panda playtime! Our cubs, Jia Panpan & Jia Yueyue's had a fun romp through the snow drifts this morning. Come visit them in the outdoor habitat of Panda Passage! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/b7qfl3H5am— Calgary Zoo (@calgaryzoo) October 2, 2018
Here’s a look going up #BowTrail this morning. A few cars already stuck on the hill including a city bus. The roads are quite slick this morning, use caution, and take your time. We have full updates on the morning commute live on @CTVMorningYYC #yyc #yyctraffic #yycroads pic.twitter.com/Rt5mZJY08G— Mark Villani (@CTVMarkVillani) October 2, 2018
At least it’s hockey weather ... pic.twitter.com/DYaYqPZMS1— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 2, 2018
I just can't wrap my head around the fact that Calgary is COVERED in snow— (@ShoeTease) October 2, 2018
It’s a snowy morning at #YYC ❄️— YYC (@FlyYYC) October 2, 2018
Our teams are hard at work clearing snow from the runways, and working closely with our airline partners deicing teams to get everyone safely on their way. Some delays are to be expected, check https://t.co/0Rd6BTh4Zc for the latest flight info pic.twitter.com/SY13DXTjXk