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Trans-Canada Highway cleared after collisions

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Motorists are advised to drive with caution, RCMP said late Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the westbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway near Headingley were cleared of cars, after a string of rear-end collisions shut the lanes down earlier Thursday. The traffic lanes were shut down at 11:30 and reopened at 1 p.m.

RCMP say reports of a 10-car pileup that snarled traffic were in fact, two separate collisions in the same stretch of highway at the same time, just past the highway weigh scales at Headingley.

"There was zero visibility and some vehicles stopped and they were run into by other vehicles," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert said. "There were two separate incidents in the same vicinity," he said.

Treacherous is the word that best described road conditions in and out of the city Thursday as Winnipeg was walloped by a snow storm.

The Trans-Canada westbound at Headingley is likely to remain closed until all the cars are towed.

RCMP are warning motorists to avoid that stretch of highway and to take extra precautions out on the roads everywhere Thursday.

The accident is the second serious one reported Thursday morning.

Around 9:30 a.m., Winnipeg police were called to an accident on Route 90 at Selkirk Avenue after reports came in that a car and a truck had collided.

Preliminary indicated one person was sent to hospital from that accident in unstable condition. Later, the report was updated to include a second person, also sent to hospital. The conditions of both patients were upgraded to stable by noon.

Blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility marked most of the road conditions around Winnipeg and south to the North Dakota border Thursday, the province’s road information website reported Thursday at noon.

Expect snow to peter out by midday and skies to clear, Environment Canada reported for the Winnipeg area. But the winds aren’t going anywhere.

For the rest of the day, the southern part of the province can expect blowing snow in open areas and winds gusting from the northwest from 50 kilometres an hour to 70 kilometres an hour.

Temperatures are set to fall to -8C by Thursday afternoon. Then they’re going to plummet to -20 C overnight.

Friday, the forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of flurries in the morning and into early afternoon, clearing in the evening and winds shifting direction to the south, 40-60 km an hour.

Southern, central and western Manitoba have been walloped by snow storms since last weekend, after one of the mildest winters in recent memory.

Parts of western Manitoba saw upwards of 30 centimetres of snow from one storm earlier this week.

History

Updated on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM CST: adds photo

4:00 PM: updates with highway open, RCMP still advising caution

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