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Conditions cause highway to freeze completely over


Warmer, windy conditions have turned Hwy 2 into a “skating rink,” according to the RCMP.

Travel was not recommended on Hwy 2 from Airdrie to Millet on Monday as several RCMP detachments along the road issued travel and tow advisories.

Ponoka Integrated Traffic Services Const. Christopher Zerr said the winter has been nasty so far. Conditions on Monday in particular led to a tow and travel advisories for highways north of Red Deer.

Olds RCMP and Innisfail integrated traffic services also said Hwy 2 south of Red Deer was difficult, with Olds issuing a travel advisory for the highway from Airdrie to Red Deer.

“It has caused the highway to completely freeze over,” said Zerr.

“It’s an absolute skating rink.”

Drivers are urged to not travel on Hwy 2 and surrounding highways, including Hwys 11, 11A, 53 and 12.

“It is too dangerous to have tow trucks and emergency vehicles on the road just to remove vehicles,” Zerr said at about 12:30 p.m. Monday.

The tow advisory stretched from Millet to Didsbury on Hwy 2, while the travel advisory was only from Red Deer to Millet.

Const. Al Nickolson said drivers really shouldn’t be out on the highway in these conditions.

Five to 10 cm of snow were forecast for Red Deer on Monday evening. Colder weather, at about -23C, is forecast for today.

Meanwhile, the adverse weather hasn’t affected Red Deer plows clearing snow from city streets, but cars parked on the roads have.

Residential snowplowing has run into speed bumps as it enters its second week. Vehicles parked on some streets have made it difficult for crews to clear those streets.

On Saturday crews, were unable to clear some residential streets, specifically Durand Close, Dowd Close and Drummond Close, because there were too many parked cars on those roads. Crews returned to those streets on Monday.

Plow crews are about 75 per cent complete on residential streets after starting a week ago.

“The number of parked cars forced our operators to bypass some streets today,” said Tara Shand, a city public information officer.

“While we aren’t ticketing and towing vehicles left on priority six streets in residential areas, we need people to move their cars if they can. We will come back to the streets we bypassed, but plowing operations go smoother when there are fewer cars to work around.”

Starting at 8 a.m. today, the residential plowing schedule was to include Bower, Sunnybrook South (Southbrook), Parkvale, Woodlea, Waskasoo and Michener Hill.

If time permits, crews will move into Sunnybrook and Clearview Meadows. Progress may vary depending on conditions and if crews do not advance into Sunnybrook and Clearview Meadows today, those areas will be plowed on Wednesday.

“We expect to complete residential plowing by the end of the week, weather permitting,” said Shand.

Downtown snow removal has started and the city expects it to be completed by the end of the week.

Residents can get up-to-date plowing information on the city’s website at www.reddeer.ca, by calling 403-342-8238 or following on Facebook or Twitter.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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