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Winds reduce visibility, fan fire in Alberta

Strong winds whipped across Alberta Friday
Strong winds whipped across Alberta Friday

Staff writers

December 3, 2011 — Another day, another round of powerful winds in Alberta. Blowing snow made for poor visibility on roads Friday, while strong winds fanned a fire near Edmonton.

Friday's peak wind gusts
Friday's peak wind gusts

Winds howled across Alberta once again Friday, causing whiteout conditions in some places and fanning a large fire at a recycling plant on the Enoch Cree Nation outside Edmonton.

The fire started early Friday morning and quickly intensified. Several families were forced to evacuate as crews battled the flames.

Winds made the task more difficult -- a gust of 85 km/h was recorded in Edmonton Friday afternoon -- and fueled fears that the fire would spread.

However, by Friday evening the winds had died down and the fire was mostly under control.

In Red Deer, the winds peaked at 84 km/h. Lethbridge saw the strongest winds; a gust of 113 km/h was recorded there.

On Friday, the RCMP were warning motorists to stay off Highway 2 between Olds and Red Deer due to poor winter driving conditions.

The strong gusts created whiteout conditions, and at one point about 20 big rigs had pulled over to the side of the road. At least one minor accident was reported, but there were no injuries.

It's been a week of windy weather in Alberta. Last Sunday, hurricane-strength winds virtually shut down the city of Calgary. The winds led to widespread property damage.

To stay up to date on active weather conditions in your area, check out the Alerts section of the website.

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