Overnight snowfall damages trees and covers gardens

It's almost a spring tradition in Calgary: a good dump of snow in early May.

Several centimetres of wet heavy snow blanketed parts of Calgary Monday morning, worsening to the west and in higher elevation neighbourhoods.

The southwest neighbourhood of Coach Hill had many broken branches down on lawns and sidewalks, including at least one small tree that narrowly missed a home.

The majority of the damage was small enough that most homeowners would feel comfortable cleaning it up themselves.

By noon lower elevation communities were essentially clear of snow.

Along Highway 8 leading to Bragg Creek about a half dozen vehicles went off the road in slippery conditions. Redwood Meadows fire chief Rob Evans said the snow was piled up about 30 centimetres deep at the fire hall.

Gardens that were starting to show their first blooming tulips did get buried,  but Plantation Garden Centre owner Colin Atter said there's nothing to worry about for most.

"Plant damage would be limited to getting crushed by the snow. Those will mostly perk right up again, same with any trees or shrubs that have been bent over," Atter said.

He added that the burst of moisture is going to help more than it hurt, especially with the dry conditions.

But  moisture remained a rumour to the east of the city where there has been little precipitation for more than a year, said Brian Slenders who's farmed around Scandia his whole life.

"We need a foot of rain to really make a difference here. We will get that sometime in the future but it's just not looking (like it) right now," Slenders said.