Manitobans Challenged with Whiteout Conditions

North Perimeter Highway Snow
Reduced visibility was an issue on many highways, Monday, February 18, 2013, including on the North Perimeter. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA)

A blowing snow warning remains in effect for southern Manitoba, creating havoc on provincial highways and roads inside the city of Winnipeg.

RCMP warned of reduced visibility and icy-covered highways late Sunday, including on Highway 1 West and Highway 75 from Winnipeg to the U.S. border. Highway 1 was later closed from Headingley to Portage la Prairie early Monday due to poor visibility and driving conditions, along with Highway 75 from St. Norbert to Morris.

“Snowfall amounts near 10 cm are expected near the international border by the time the snow tapers off later today, with up to 15 cm possible over Southeast Manitoba,” read a warning from Environment Canada. “Lesser amounts of 5 to 10 cm are expected over the Northern Red River Valley.”

Inside the city, localized blowing was a concern to motorists as some streets became impassable with snow drifts several feet high.

A number of Louis Riel Day outdoor activities were cancelled as a result of the weather.

Plowing underway

The City of Winnipeg has started to plow main routes, bus routes and collector streets, while sanding trucks are out working to improve traction.

Plowing of back lanes will begin Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., and will continue daily until completed. The city is also clearing sidewalks on main routes.

The annual snow route parking ban remains in effect from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. nightly.

RCMP kept busy with multiple accidents

RCMP have been responding to several crashes around the province today, including a multi-vehicle crash in St. Francois Xavier. About 10 vehicles, including several semi-trailer trucks, collided in a chain reaction due to poor visibility. No serious injuries have been reported.

Three other semis were also involved in a similar collision just west of PR 332 on the westbound lanes on Highway 1.

At around 10 a.m., two semis hit the road barricades at the Headingley weigh scales on Highway 1 West. Flying debris caused damage to a police vehicle on scene, but no one was injured.

RCMP have received numerous reports of vehicles in the ditch in southern Manitoba and request that motorists reduce their speed.

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