Motorists urged to avoid ‘impassable’ Highway 43 as freezing rain hits region

Motorists are being urged to avoid a major highway that leads to northwestern Alberta after freezing rain moved into the province Friday morning.

In a news release sent at about 9:15 a.m. Friday, Highway 43 was described as “impassable” north of Highway 16 by RCMP in Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Enoch.  

“There have been multiple collisions and rollovers on the Hwy 16 corridor and surrounding area,” RCMP said. There is a tow advisory, meaning there is limited access to tow trucks.

RCMP in Whitecourt and Fox Creek said traffic along Highway 43 is moving slowly, but advised against unnecessary travel. No injuries had been reported by mid-morning.. 

Leduc RCMP are also urging drivers to slow down as local roads and highways have become slippery and dangerous as a result of freezing rain.

“You can reduce your risk of causing a collision by slowing down, leaving a safe distance between vehicles, and not being distracted when driving,” police said in a news release. 

According to Environment Canada, there was freezing rain Friday morning over a large section of central Alberta. There is a freezing rain warning in effect for the following areas:

  • Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park
  • Drayton Valley, Devon, Rimbey and Pigeon Lake
  • Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Redwater and Smoky Lake
  • Leduc, Camrose, Wetaskiwin and Tofield
  • Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Morinville, Mayerthorpe and Evansburg
  • Westlock, Barrhead and Athabasca
  • Whitecourt, Edson, Fox Creek and Swan Hills

Freezing rain warnings are issued when rain falling in sub-zero temperatures creates ice build-up and icy surfaces, says Environment Canada. It is expected to end this afternoon.

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