Drivers were stuck for hours on Highway 2 outside Red Deer on Friday as the heavy snowfall created mayhem.
Just north of the 32nd Street overpass a semi was jacknifed across the northbound lanes, prompting RCMP to shut down the northbound lanes from there to 67th Street around 11:30 a.m. The closure was in effect for the major part of the afternoon.
At 4:49 p.m. 511 Alberta tweeted QEII between 32 Street and Highway 11 near Red Deer had one northbound lane open.
— 511 Alberta (@511Alberta) March 8, 2019
North of the jacknifed truck, other big rigs had tangled and vehicles were involved in numerous collisions.
The City of Red Deer tweeted crews were clearing a multi-vehicle collision north of Highway 11A northbound around 10 a.m.
— The City of Red Deer (@CityofRedDeer) March 8, 2019
Blackfalds RCMP advised motorists of hazardous driving conditions on Highway 2 (northbound lanes) at Gasoline Alley in the morning. Police said vehicles had left the road all along the highway and a huge line of trucks and passenger vehicles stretched up the northbound lanes.
At 4:46 p.m. QEII northbound at Gasoline Alley near Red Deer was fully reopened, according to 511 Alberta Twitter.
One driver who managed to escape the logjam and pull into the parking lot of Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum said she had been trapped on the highway for two hours.
Many central Alberta residents were monitoring road conditions online and on social media.
Leeski Anne commented “Taylor (Drive) is a semi truck parking lot,” on Advocate’s Facebook page.
The Highway 2 detours only added to the mess on roads within the city. Taylor Drive, 67th and 32nd Streets were backed up and at the north end of Gaetz Avenue a long line of vehicles was slowly moving north along Highway 2A.
Central Alberta drivers were warned to stay off the road if they could until conditions improved.
Environment Canada issued a heavy snowfall warning — with 15 to 35 cm expected — for most of central Alberta Friday morning. It remained in effect throughout the day.
Emergency responders were also busy in other parts of the province.
At 4:23 p.m., 511 Alberta tweeted a multi-vehicle collision south of Bowden southbound at Township Road 340. Emergency crews were on the scene.
Strathcona RCMP advised motorisits to stay off Highway 16, Highway 216 and Highway 14 and surrounding highways. Police recommended to not travel around mid-morning in the area. Police and emergency crews were dealing with multiple collisions on Highways 216 and Highway 14 due to the poor weather conditions, visibility is very poor in these areas.