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Edmonton police say roads are faring better following the city’s near-record snowfall, despite frigid overnight temperatures that left surfaces slick and icy.

Environment Canada reports that Edmonton received between 14 and 31 centimetres of snow, while St. Albert got a whopping 35 cm.

All that snow did help local ski resorts get an early start to the ski and snowboard season.

Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park announced it will open Friday, its earliest ever season start.

Sunshine Village, in Banff National Park, and the Lake Louise ski area will also kick off the season Friday after significant snowfalls this week blanketed the mountain with a snow pack of 65 cm.

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Edmonton+auto+body+shops+
chaotic+after+massive+snowfall/7519399/story.html

Thanks to Clay Olson for this link

 

3 Responses to Edmonton auto body shops ‘chaotic’ after massive snowfall

  1. Nick Stoneman says:

    This illustrates how deadly Ice Age weather can be. My sympathies for anyone crashing their car – or indeed struggling to drive in such conditions. Lots of extra costs – repairs, insurance excess and no claim discount, waiting around to be towed, inconvenience from loss of use of car, other transport costs while the car’s in the shop, missed appointments, stress. Even without a crash, the stress of winter driving takes it’s toll. Because such conditions can KILL – so we all concentrate 10,000% harder to make it home safe.

    I’ve been driving for 44 years and covered 800,000 miles (1.4 M kilometres) – most of that in winter conditions. In the early days I was not knowledgeable about winter driving. Having crashed 3 times in the snow, and had a couple of very scary moments, I have done a LOT of research on this. If I’d stuck to the recommendations below from the beginning, I would have avoided every one of those crashes and scary moments! Hopefully you will find this advice useful.

    Please note: I use the UK spelling “tyres” – please read as tires if you are more used to that.

    Even if you have no control over the tyres fitted to your car (company car drivers) at least 6 of the points below will still be useful to you. And these videos http://www.etyres.co.uk/winter-tyres this article http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/reasons-to-consider-winter-tyres.htm and these quotes: “Summer tyres offer around a third of the grip” “Summer tyres are a liability in snow and inferior in the cold and wet” http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/wheels-and-tyres/60709/winter-tyre-test-2012 might just make your fleet manager realise that fitting winter tyres could stop him/her being liable for injuries, and save money from crash repairs, vehicle downtime, and extra insurance costs.

    Note: Unless you are only EVER going to use them on snow and ice, don’t buy SNOW tyres – they are not safe on wet winter roads.

    (1) Fit 4 winter tyres. I repeat 4 WINTER tyres – 2 won’t do – 2 are deadly, and accounted for the most dangerous of my crashes – see vid http://www.etyres.co.uk/winter-tyres.html And please don’t think “All-Season” tyres are good enough – their inferior grip was what made me spin when I had 2 winter tyres and 2 all-season tyres on the car. And don’t worry about the supposed extra cost of winter tyres. Shopping around can get excellent winter tyres for less cost than many summer tyres. While you’ve got them on your car you’re saving by not wearing out your summer tyres. In places with cool summers (the UK!) you can leave them on all year (very little extra wear in a cool summer) and sell your summer tyres on Gumtree or ebay. If you do a lot of miles in hot summers, afraid you’ll have to swap tyres with the seasons – sorry.

    (2) Good winter tyres are the best value – there are some crap ones out there. Guidance: In Canada & USA http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C for cars, http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=LT for light trucks/SUV’s. In UK and Europe: http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/2012-Winter-Tyre-Buying-Guide.htm and http://www.tyretest.com/wintercar_tyres/index.html – some newer designs not surveyed on latter. I personally ignore the findings for dry roads. Almost any tyre will work OK on a dry road, and the differences in performance on dry roads are pretty small. I concentrate on the performance on wet and snowy roads. I consider – but pay less attention to – comfort, noise and rolling resistance/MPG ratings. Accidents are very uncomfortable, noisy and expensive, so I concentrate on the factors which maximise safety and minimise accidents.

    Note for UK and rest of EU: Ignore the new EU tyre labels. They are a trade protection measure, not an effective safety measure, because the testing methods used are so poor. As an example, the EU labels purport to rate WET braking. Auto Bild tested braking in both the wet and the snow. They tested 42 different winter tyres. The tyre with the worst WET braking performance took 40% further to stop than the best – that’s an EXTRA 16 metres! (over 17 EXTRA yards). Yet for some sizes both tyres have the SAME EU wet braking rating! Totally meaningless. The EU tyre labels are misleading and potentially dangerous. The links above give far more objective information on tyre safety, noise and MPG than the EU labels do, plus info on aquaplaning, wet handling, snow grip, etc.

    (3) Whether you use summer or winter tyres, make sure they have plenty of tread. To be safe, you need a MINIMUM tread depth of 3 mm on wet roads (yes, even in summer! see vid http://www.etyres.co.uk/tyre-tread-video.html ) and 5 mm in the snow. (3 mm is approx. 1/8 th of an inch; 5 mm is approx. 1/5 th of an inch).

    (3) Whatever tyres you fit, get the narrowest tyres you can safely fit on your rims. I’ve got 5% extra wet/snow grip by doing this (fitting 195 rather than 205 tyres) – you may get 10% more. Narrower tyres grip better in wet, mud and snow, and are VASTLY better at resisting aquaplaning. They give better mpg too, and are often cheaper to buy. Guidance: http://www.tyres-pneus-online.co.uk/equivalency-tables-advice.html (Want width in inches? Search the internet – lots of sites convert tyre sizes between mm and inches).

    (4) Consider buying a used (or new if you’re rich!) set of narrower rims to fit even narrower tyres. I did this (225 tyres fitted to my original wide rims – 205 tyres fitted to my used narrower rims when I got them – free summer tyres which worked well until temperatures dropped in October, when they began to understeer on damp roads) and got an extra 10% wet/snow/anti-aquaplaning grip (you may get more) and better mpg too. You can always sell your original, wider wheels and tyres on Gumtree or ebay. To keep your insurance company happy, stick to the manufacturer’s minimum size recommendations for your car. I had 17″ wheels and 225 wide tyres on my car. I bought used 16″ wheels from a lower powered version of my car and fitted 195 tyres. Total of 15% more grip in wet and snow (plus of course the vastly greater grip from winter tyres). And probably a 20% reduction in risk of aquaplaning. By the way, the Citroen 2CV and Renault 4 – both with narrow wheels and tyres – are very often favoured by residents in Alpine areas over fat tyred 4×4’s/SUV’s. Wide tyres perform well on dry roads (when most magazine road tests are done) and look sexy, but they are a stupid trend, and potentially dangerous in rain and snow.

    (5) When fitting narrower tyres to your existing or narrower rims, you may need a higher profile tyre to keep the gearing and speedometer readings within limits. Guidance: http://www.etyres.co.uk/tyre-size-calculator.htm The higher profile will give a more comfortable ride. You may notice slightly poorer handling, so buy the best winter tyres you can afford to compensate. My car handles just as well on good, narrow, high profile winter tyres as it did on mediocre, wide, low profile summer tyres. And it’s a damn sight safer, even in summer rain. Vastly safer in winter.

    (5) Increase tyre pressures to compensate for the smaller footprint of a narrower tyre. 10% narrower means 10% more pressure etc. (Note: if you’re stuck in snow, reducing pressures can increase grip – it pushes the tread edges in harder. BUT you have to lower the pressure a lot to get the benefit – which means you’ll have to drive very slowly until you pump the tyres back up. Lower pressures are NOT safe to use at normal winter driving speeds, and you risk damaging your tyres too.)

    (6) Improve your winter driving skills. This is actually the most important item here! You CAN drive safely on summer tyres in winter – but you’ll have to drive pretty damn slowly! And accept that there are hills you just shouldn’t attempt, and more days when you cannot drive at all. You’ll be much better off with good, narrow winter tyres. BUT you’ll still need good skills to stay safe.

    (7) Don’t get cocky! I really struggle with this one – because I’m a skilled and very experienced driver and I’ve paid special attention to my winter driving skills and have great tyres on an AWD car, I tend to think I can drive faster than I should. I have to be very disciplined and drive more slowly (as my winter tyres are rated at 131 mph – 210 kph – you can appreciate how frustrating this is!) allow much bigger braking distances, corner more slowly, anticipate further ahead. And I also allow much more time for winter journeys so I’m not rushing. (For the same reason, wet summer journeys need more time – whatever tyres you’ve got on.)

    (8) On the subject of planning ahead, buy Weather Action’s long range forecasts http://www.weatheraction.com/ They’re not perfect – because they are long range forecasts they are inherently less accurate than the “nowcasts” on TV. But they can be game-changing when planning a trip in winter. They take a fair bit of getting used to – you have to read the notes at top and bottom of each month’s forecast, and beside each map, as well as looking carefully at the map itself. But well worth the effort. And Weather Action’s theories fully complement Ice Age Now’s! Though Weather Action are forecasting a Little Ice Age rather than a big one – but I guess the start of a big ice age is pretty similar to the start of a little one!

    If all this sounds like too much work, then please accept that being sloppy and leaving your summer tyres on means you should not drive in severe winter conditions. To be more specific – stay at home if the road temperature is below 7 C (45 F) That’s the road temperature – takes a while to warm up after a cold night, so air temperature is a poor guide. Also stay at home if the roads are wet, snowy or icy. Ignoring these restrictions means you may crash. Or you may simply get stuck on a gentle slope and block the road for other people – and possibly be waiting hours to be rescued. Why put you own and other peoples lives in danger? Why risk the expense and inconvenience of unnecessary car repairs resulting from a crash you probably would not have had if you had proper tyres on?

    I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching this. Hope you find it useful. Stay safe! Nick

  2. Johnthe1st says:

    I was stationed at Rock Island Arsenal right in the middle of the Mississippi river between Davenport Iowa and Rock Island Illinois for a few years. I was amazed at how efficient those two cities were at keeping the streets clean.
    Can’t wait till Seattle gets a big snow fall. The videos that come out of it are hilarious. They could take a lesson from Davenport.


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