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Freezing rain slicks Prairie highways


Freezing rain caused problems for drivers across Alberta and Saskatchewan Thursday (File photo)
Freezing rain caused problems for drivers across Alberta and Saskatchewan Thursday (File photo)

Staff writers

December 30, 2011 — Bands of freezing rain swept across parts of the Prairies Thursday, creating treacherous conditions on highways from northwest of Edmonton to Regina.

Freezing rain quickly left this sunroof coated in ice
Freezing rain quickly left this sunroof coated in ice

The icy mix hit Edmonton just in time for the morning commute.

Emergency crews responded to dozens of accidents in and around the city, including a flipped transport truck near Westlock and a serious collision that resulted in injuries in Stony Plain. Police said it was difficult for even the ambulance to reach that crash scene.

An observer said the ditch along the highway from the Edmonton city centre to the airport was littered with vehicles. The highway was closed south of Leduc for several hours due to a collision.

Officials in Grande Prairie told local media they have already some 1,200 tons of sand on city streets so far this season. Crews normally use 1,200 to 1,500 tons of sand during the entire winter.

The freezing rain pushed into southern Saskatchewan through the morning, coating roads and sidewalks. Numerous accidents were reported in and around Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, including three jackknifed semis. No injuries were reported.

The freezing rain was expected to taper by Thursday evening, but drivers are encouraged to check highway conditions before heading out.

The system that brought the messy conditions moved into parts of southern Saskatchewan before heading into the United States.

Stay up to date on weather watches and warnings for your area by visiting our Alerts page.

Have you been affected by the storm? Tell us how in the comments below.

With files from the Canadian Press

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