Slick roads test drivers

Winter briefly flexed its muscle Monday creating treacherous conditions on area roads. Emergency crews throughout Central Alberta were kept busy all afternoon responding to numerous fender benders on slick roadways.

Blizzard conditions through Gasoline Alley at 3:15 p.m. Monday.

Winter briefly flexed its muscle Monday creating treacherous conditions on area roads.

Emergency crews throughout Central Alberta were kept busy all afternoon responding to numerous fender benders on slick roadways.

There was a multi-vehicle collision about 10 km south of Red Deer on Hwy 2 and another near Innisfail about 3:30 p.m.

About the same time, eight cars piled into each other on Gaetz Avenue near the Parkland Mall. All across the city, vehicles slid, spun and swerved as freshly fallen snow was burnished into sheets of ice.

At many intersections, drivers stepped on the gas and barely moved, their tires spinning.

Innisfail deputy fire chief Dennis Fehr said they got a few calls about minor accidents on Hwy 2, but there weren’t any serious collisions or injuries.

“We didn’t need to pull out our tools.

“There were several vehicles in the ditch and several fender benders, and jackknifes with 18-wheelers, that kind of thing.”

Hwy 2 was slippery much of the afternoon and visibility was at times greatly reduced. Traffic slowed to about 70 to 80 km/h.

Red Deer Emergency Services also was despatched to several collisions, but were called back on two of them, said Platoon Chief Randy Kidd.

They did respond to an accident near the Joffre Bridge when a vehicle struck a power pole, likely after losing control on icy roads.

“I assume so. It was very slippery,” he said.

There were no injuries in the accident.

On Hwy 2 drivers seemed to be taking heed of conditions, he said. “For the most part the traffic is driving cautiously, so that’s a good thing.”

Conditions seemed to be worse further south in the Bowden area.

Alberta Transportation listed many major routes in Central Alberta as having poor driving conditions for most of the afternoon.

Environment Canada was calling for an end to the snow by Monday evening. Tuesday is expected to be sunny and reaching a high of -6C.

More snow is forecast for Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will drop by the weekend with a high of -10C forecast for Saturday and a peak temperature of -12C Sunday.

• CLICK HERE FOR AMA CENTRAL ALBERTA ROAD REPORT

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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