Saskatchewan highway crews are caught in abalancing act at this time of year essentially doing both spring and winter activities.
Kirsten Leatherdale with the Highway Hotline says crews are busy steaming culverts and clearing drainage areas for spring. But because the winter weather has decided to stick around, they also have to attend to winter maintenance should conditions call for it.
Since crews aren’t out in full force as they might have been in January or February, that means road updates don’t always happen.
Freezing rain and snow is creating hazardous icy conditions on highways across southern Saskatchewan Friday morning.
Highway 11 between Regina and Lumsden was closed for several hours after icy roads caused a semi to jack-knife.
RCMP said the conditions were so bad, not even the tow trucks can get in to help. At least one police cruiser, and an ambulance slid off the road while responding to the scene.
We can only cross our fingers and hope it’s Old Man Winter's last punch.
Snow, mixed with 30 kilometer an hour wind, is causing snow drifts and reduced visibility on many highways in the Regina and Saskatoon areas.
Darcy Cooper is with the RM of Lumsden. She has advice for anyone heading in her direction.
"Perhaps stay where they are unless they can be assured that they're route home is safe to travel on," she said.
More snow and a winter that seems to never end has more people in Saskatoon headed somewhere warm.
"People walk in and say, 'Get me out of here right now,'" said Jackie Cadrain, manager at Uniglobe Carefree Travel in Saskatoon.
"We've had people that have already had their winter vacation in January and they're going again."
Cadrain said usually direct flights to warm places die off around the end of February, however they haven't so far.
Just as contractors were preparing to climb up onto the roof of Lowe's garden centre to continue clearing snow, a section of it crumbled down Thursday morning in yet another roof collapse in Regina.
The fire department was called to the collapse around 9 a.m.
"Regina Fire and Protective Services was alerted to a situation at the Lowe's store through a monitoring alarm," deputy chief Gerard Kay explained, "apparently the garden centre's roof collapsed severing the water lines for the sprinkler system."
It's a devastating loss for a small Saskatchewan community.
Heavy snow has caused part of the roof at the Bredenbury rink to collapse. Bredenbury is about half an hour southeast of Yorkton.
Brian Soke volunteers there.
“As far as the town of Bredenbury goes; that’s about all there that’s left is the rink,” he said.
“It’s quite a big deal for the area.”
He says the damage to the building is extensive; about 50 feet by 200 feet of the building has no ceiling.
Spring seeding could be delayed for farmers in Saskatchewan, another impact the abundance of snow this winter is having.
Jamie Hodson grows wheat, pulse crops and oilseeds on a farm near Grand Coulee.
“As far back as I can remember I haven’t seen a winter drag on like this. Nothing of this significance that most of us can recall and so I’m sure going forward looking into spring it’s going to cause some issues,” he said.
According to the forecast Regina's snow isn't going to be leaving any time soon, and more is coming, but the City of Regina is going over budget for snow removal.
"By the end of March when I looked at the numbers we had spent pretty much close to what our whole budget for the year is, so I think we were sitting around $6.3 million," said Chris Warren, manager of winter road maintenance for the City of Regina.
That money only counts snow removal for January to the end of March and the budget is meant to last from October to December next winter.
With the latest run-off forecast expanding the areas in a possible flood zone, it's an uneasy time for many people in flood zones in some Saskatchewan communities.
They can only do so much to get prepared, then they just have to wait for the snow to melt to see how high the water will rise.
You don't hear the river running in south Moose Jaw now because it’s still relatively frozen. But just because that's the case at this given time doesn't mean those who live along it are remaining stationary too.
The lack of spring melt appears to be putting a damper on the start of the baseball season in Regina.
As snow leftover from the winter that doesn't want to end continues to sit on fields across the Queen City, Baseball Regina can't say for sure what this will mean for the start of their season.
"It's so depressing," said Leo MacDonald with Baseball Regina, who admits they're taking it week by week at this point. "Last year I believe we were actually on the field, or pretty close."