Snowstorm packs a punch - Metro US

Snowstorm packs a punch

Calgary police cordoned off a downtown block yesterday over the noon hour after extremely high winds from a spring storm front caused a large piece of siding to hang from a building.

Duty Insp. Michael Watterston said police and fire crews locked off the area around 703 – 6th Ave. SW as a precaution while crews secured the building.

“It was a building that is already constructed and just because of the high winds, some metal siding was hanging off,” Watterston said.

The winds, which reached gusts of nearly 75 km/h in Calgary, came on the edge of the same storm that left tens of thousands of people without power for much of yesterday as winter returned to wallop southern Alberta with heavy wet snow and whipping winds.

The mayor of Lethbridge advised 90,000 residents to stay put and wait out a widespread outage that enveloped much of the city and surrounding communities.

FortisAlberta spokeswoman Jennifer MacGowan said about 10,000 customers in a large area of southern Alberta, not including Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, were without power.

Power was restored to most of Lethbridge by late yesterday afternoon.

The spring storm roared in with a vengeance late Tuesday afternoon. Snow continued to fall overnight and by morning many people had to abandon their vehicles as they became bogged down in drifts as deep as 30 centimetres.

with files from the Canadian Press

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