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Storm cripples travel

Posted on December 4, 2013 by Maple Creek

Winter arrived in the southern Prairies with a vengeance, and the Southwest was the worst hit in the province.

Between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning, a storm system moving in from Alberta dumped about 17 centimetres of snow on Maple Creek.

But before the snow fell, icy conditions throughout the region made for difficult driving. Freezing rain around Swift Current on Saturday night left some sections of highway slick on Sunday. The Trans-Canada Highway was closed from Parkbeg to Chaplin Sunday afternoon after a number of semis jack-knifed in the westbound lanes.

Poor visibility and icy and snowy conditions continued to leave some roads treacherous for motorists the following day. Highway driving was not recommended from Tompkins to Swift Current Tuesday morning.

Accidents were caused in other parts of the province due to heavy fog over the weekend. A massive pileup shut down Highway 16 northwest of Saskatoon on Saturday. The incident involved about 25 vehicles and six semi trucks, injuring about 40 people. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Blizzard warnings were also issued for much of southern Alberta on Sunday and Monday, including Medicine Hat.

Whiteout conditions in the Calgary area on Monday resulted in an accident involving about 10 vehicles on the Trans-Canada Highway near Gleichen. Local residents who were involved in the pileup were uninjured, but left stranded in the mess for a number of hours, eventually spending the night in another motorist’s vehicle. They eventually arrived back in Maple Creek on Tuesday evening – 24 hours after they expected to be home.

While scattered flurries continued yesterday, no more snow is in the forecast for the remainder of the week with the exception of a few flurries on Saturday, but be prepared for a chilly next few days. A high of -24 C with cloudy periods is expected for tomorrow, with a high of -21 C and mainly sunshine on Saturday. Flurries are forecast for Sunday with a high of -14 C.

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