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Trans-Canada reopens in Alberta


Driving conditions have been treacherous. Click on the photo to see what drivers in Alberta have been dealing with.
Driving conditions have been treacherous. Click on the photo to see what drivers in Alberta have been dealing with.

Jill Colton, staff writer

January 10, 2011 — Hundreds of stranded motorists are on their way home after the Trans-Canada Highway in southern Alberta reopened Monday afternoon.

Highway one was closed between Calgary city limits and Bassano
Highway one was closed between Calgary city limits and Bassano

After blizzard-like conditions this weekend, Highway 1 was closed east of Calgary to Bassano, but has since been reopened.

Although people have been given the green light to go home, RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Patrick Webb believes it will be a slow commute since some of the road is restricted to one lane.

Just west of Medicine Hat, the highway is clogged due to an influx of semi trailers. There are an estimated 150 trucks lined up along side streets and highway shoulders. According to Webb, “We've had numerous vehicles -- probably 100 or more -- off the road there. We've been rescuing people from those vehicles.”

Webb says other vehicles were abandoned or stuck in ditches or on the shoulder of the road. “We actually have our RCMP members following the snowplows, checking vehicle after vehicle, just to make sure that there's nobody in those,” he says.

Strathmore Mayor Steve Grajczyk says many people were forced to sleep in the community's local school, but were grateful for a spot to stay.

To stay up-to-date on current weather conditions in the province, click our Alberta Cities Index. You can also receive updates to your cell phone, which could help prepare you for stormy weather.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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