Travel not recommended on some Alberta highways, RCMP warns

Albertans are being warned to avoid travel on some highways — road conditions have been compromised by snow, ice and high winds.

Primarily north of Airdrie and south of Carstairs, black ice has made road conditions poor on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway in both directions.

“We’ve had probably at least a dozen [collisions] now,” Const. Casondra Greene with the Airdire RCMP told CBC News around 10:30 a.m. “It’s the road conditions, it’s really icy.”

Meanwhile, visibility has been significantly reduced by blowing snow along Highway 1 between the Kananaskis River and Dead Man’s Flats.

It is creating icy sections and snowdrifts in both lanes, Canmore RCMP said in a press release early Thursday morning.

The detachment’s Cpl. Shane Fletcher told CBC News that conditions had not improved by 10 a.m., and had contributed to a rollover this morning. 

“It’s mostly due to a high volume of snow, and high winds in the area. It’s kind of sporadic and unpredictable,” Fletcher said.

Similar conditions exist on Highway 1X between Highway 1 and 1A, and Highway 1A from Highway 1X to Exshaw.

Conditions are poor after a winter storm walloped most of Alberta on Monday and Tuesday, and heaped as much as 70 centimetres of snow on parts of the province. 

If you must travel, RCMP are reminding Albertans to make sure all vehicle lights are functioning and visible.

Clear your vehicle of snow so that other drivers can see you, and drive for wintry conditions — carefully and cautiously, plan to reduce your speed, allow extra time to reach your destination.

If you do go off the road, it could be sometime before emergency services or tow trucks are able to reach you. Carry an emergency kit with you that includes extra winter clothing, blankets or a sleeping bag.

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