Winter weather has Alberta drivers in icy grip

EDMONTON — A winter snowstorm closed highways in Alberta and had drivers slipping and sliding during rush hour all the way from Edmonton to Calgary on Friday.

EDMONTON — A winter snowstorm closed highways in Alberta and had drivers slipping and sliding during rush hour all the way from Edmonton to Calgary on Friday.

RCMP closed a section of the main highway north of Calgary for several hours after several collisions and whiteout conditions were reported.

By evening, they still weren’t recommending travel due to poor driving conditions.

Several semi-trailer units jackknifed near a bridge west of Big Valley, Alta., closing a rural highway for at least two hours.

Prospects weren’t great for the rest of the weekend, with temperatures expected to plummet to -15C by Saturday afternoon along with more flurries.

“It doesn’t look very good,” said Linda Schuler, meteorologist for Environment Canada, of the long-range forecast.

“This (system) developed over the province, an upper disturbance moved across from B.C. and joined up with a cold front coming from the north.”

About 10 cm of snow fell in Calgary and 15 cm in Edmonton while high winds reduced visibility to almost zero.

Calgary police responded to 172 collisions between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 26 of them involving injuries. In Edmonton, five of 42 crashes resulted in injury.

Every piece of equipment available was kept working through the night in an effort to keep major roads clear, said Calgary transportation spokesman Sean Somers.

Drivers weren’t the only ones hampered. Flights were cancelled and delayed at both Calgary and Edmonton airports.

“The weather has had a significant affect on our operations,” said WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer, noting staff were serving drinks and snacks to their customers stuck waiting in long lines.

In Edmonton, an armada of 83 trucks were out sanding and plowing.

“We’re running pretty much a full complement and we’ll keep it up right through (Friday night) and look at it again in the morning,” he said. “We’re working at it.”

Despite the efforts of road crews, Edmontonians weathered a difficult day of collisions, stuck vehicles, and crawling commutes.

Scott Roy, a dispatcher with towing company Auto Rescue, said by the evening rush hour there had been at least 50 calls for service with customers waiting between 45 minutes to an hour.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month