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Winds blow trucks off Alberta highways

Forceful winds power a transport off the highway.
Forceful winds power a transport off the highway.

Jill Colton, staff writer

February 14, 2011 — Intense winds blew transports off highways in Alberta on Saturday.

A driver's view of a blown over transport in Fort Macleod, Alta.
A driver's view of a blown over transport in Fort Macleod, Alta.

Blustery winds helped create dangerous driving conditions on highways south of Calgary on Saturday.

RCMP advised people to stay off Highway 2 between Claresholm and Fort Macleod because of the powerful winds.

One man was driving the stretch between Highway 3 and Highway 520. He said the gusts were so strong it felt like he was on a bucking horse.

The winds helped muscle nearly a dozen semis into the ditch. Many motorists were diverted by emergency personnel driving on Highway 2 for safety reasons.

The potent winds also helped to knock down trees and power for about two hours to some areas.

Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network says it all has to do with the chinook winds.

“Strong chinook winds descending from the Rockies helped create warm conditions across southern Alberta.”

Wind warnings were in place for several Alberta and Saskatchewan communities throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, peak wind gusts measured 154 km/h while Pincher Creek recorded 115 km/h gusts. Sunday's winds were even stronger in some areas. Nakiska Ridgetop recorded a 161 km/h gust.

The weekend was also feeling spring-like as temperatures rose to a high of 8°C in places like Calgary and 5°C in Edmonton at one point.

There is a down side to the warm weather. Residents are now worried about possible flooding as the warm westerly wind quickly melts all the snow.

Temperatures will continue to hover above the freezing mark through Monday as the mild trend continues.

With files from 660 News and Global

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