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This article was published 25/1/2010 (3492 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — The city has closed Saskatchewan Avenue between Hamilton Avenue and Buchanan Boulevard and RCMP are advising motorists to avoid the Perimeter Highway due to poor driving conditions.
RCMP are not recommending travel particularly on the North and West Perimeter due to blizzard conditions, poor visibility and snow drifts.
It's the same story on Saskatchewan Avenue, where the city says large drifts are making the road too dangerous to drive.
But it appears the TransCanada from Headingley to Portage la Prairie is back open after being closed to motorists for much of the day. The province says the highway remains snow covered and slippery, though.
And Highway 75 from St. Norbert to Emerson is also back open, though there are slippery areas with reduced visibility.
Traffic on northbound Highway 9 has come to a standstill between Highway 44 and Lower Fort Garry.
The RCMP said the traffic disruption is the result of a collision between a semi-truck and a car.
Police say blowing snow has reduced visibility on Highway 9 from Winnipeg to Selkirk.
RCMP say similar conditions are reported on stretches of Highway 230 (McPhillips Road) in the RM of St. Andrews between Highway 8 and Highway 9.
Earlier, CAA Manitoba said it is not going outside the Perimeter and anyone stuck on the Perimeter may catch a ride but won't be towed. "If people are stuck on the Perimeter, we will try to get there to rescue them, but their vehicle will have to wait for another day," said spokesman Randy Holyk.
Holyk said there was a three-hour minimum wait for help this afternoon. "We can only get to you as fast as weather and traffic allow,", he said.
"Most of those calls are stuck calls," Holyk said.
Elsewhere, a driver whose car got stuck at a snowy railway crossing is OK but her car got hit by a freight train this morning near Beausejour.
RCMP say the collision occurred on St. Ouen’s Road about 10 kms southeast of Beausejour. The driver had abandoned her vehicle at about 6:15 a.m. when it got stuck in the snow to go for help.
The blizzard made it a perilous morning for drivers. Highway 1 at Highway 12 near Steinbach has now been reopened to traffic following an accident in the westbound lanes earlier this morning. However, there is poor visibility, and Manitoba Highways is advising against travel on the Trans-Canada east of the city.
In Winnipeg, it was slow-going on city streets and no-going on some highways this morning as blizzard-like conditions continued to hammer southern Manitoba — closing schools and making for some very dangerous driving conditions.
Fresh snow is falling and, combined with north winds gusting near 80 km/h, is producing poor visibility and blowing snow.
The Winnipeg School Division has cancelled school buses today, but all schools are open.
The city unleashed its plows on main roads at 7 a.m. and has sanding trucks operating throughout the city.
A ‘snow meeting’ of public works managers this morning would form plans to fight the mess that the blizzard is making of our streets, said city spokesman Ken Allen but the results of the meeting have not yet been announced.
For now, "It’s focusing on the main routes, bus routes, and collector streets. They take up to 80 per cent of our traffic," Allen said.
Even if there is parking allowed on these streets during the day, Allen said, crews would appreciate people’s finding somewhere else to park their cars. No residential streets are being plowed this morning.
"We’ve got sanding trucks on the road. We’re going to be putting down a lot of sand today," he said.
Snow continues to fall through west and central Manitoba, where a winter storm warning remains in effect. All of southern Manitoba will see some blowing snow over the next 12 hours with this system.
Travel is not advised anywhere in southern Manitoba, said Neil Gobelle, Manitoba Highways information manager.
"The travel not advised is because of lack of visibility, because of wind and blowing snow. Open areas are really bad," said Gobelle.
He said all highways have poor visibility, and there are many icy patches.
Gobelle said that Highway 1 east to the Ontario border is open, but travel is not advised. The storm extends well into northwestern Ontario, he said.
There were literally dozens and dozens of vehicles in ditches this morning, and RCMP, emergency crews and tow trucks have been kept busy. But by 7:45 a.m. there were no reports of any serious injuries.
Headingley RCMP traffic division says that conditions are "very, very poor" on the Perimeter Highway. Police are strongly urging motorists not to travel.
Airline passengers may have trouble getting to the airport, but flights out of Winnipeg are on time so far, said spokeswoman Christine Alongi this morning.
"We’re not experiencing major delays at this point. Teams have been working on the runways all night," Alongi said. If you’re flying, check arrivals and departures at www.waa.ca.
The storm will finally die down this evening as winds diminish and skies clear. Sunny skies are expected for the remainder of the week, although temperatures will be much colder that what we have become accustomed to with highs around -15 C to -19 C expected for thee next few days.