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Blast of winter

The weather across the province had a lot of people wishing they had taken an early summer vacation yesterday.

The weather across the province had a lot of people wishing they had taken an early summer vacation yesterday.

The high winds and heavy snow wreaked havoc on city streets and power lines, but a meteorologist from Environment Canada said Edmontonians should be used to inclement weather in the month of May by now.

“This is normal weather for May,” Dan Kulak said. “We normally in Edmonton get about three-and-a-half centimetres of snow in the month of May, based on the last 30 years, so we have to grin and bear it.”

The Edmonton area has seen far bigger storms than what we experienced yesterday, Kulak said. The extreme, one-day snowfall in the month of May for Edmonton was 26.2 centimetres on May 21, 1997.

Rain turned to snow at about 6 a.m. yesterday and continued to accumulate throughout the day until the mid-afternoon.

Kulak said the sun will have a tough time breaking through the clouds, but the worst of the storm has passed.

“It’s not going to be stone clear here over the next little while,” he said.

“But the majority of the system is going to be moving out during the afternoon (yesterday).”

Edmonton police were reporting 72 property damage collisions and only eight collisions where people suffered injuries between 6 a.m. and about 4 p.m.

Those numbers may not accurately reflect what happened on city roads yesterday, just because of the way collisions are reported, but EPS spokesperson Lisa Sobchyshyn said it’s important for drivers to use caution when travelling in inclement weather.

“If people just use their heads and drive according to the weather conditions, the worst could be over,” she said.

“Just slow down a little bit and show some courtesy. Common sense things.”

 
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