Freezing rain warning issued in the Edmonton area, fatal collisions reported Thursday morning – Edmonton

A freezing rain warning was issued just after 6 a.m. Thursday for the Edmonton area as overnight rainfall turned into deadly ice on area roads and highways.

Environment Canada said a swath of icy rain is moving east through Edmonton and surrounding areas.

The warning was issued for the city of Edmonton and surrounding regions, and later expanded south into central Alberta.

Fatal collisions on nearby highways

At 7:30 a.m., RCMP said more than 35 collisions had been reported in the Edmonton area, most involving multiple vehicles.

Two of those accidents were fatal, police said.

South of Edmonton, a crash on the QEII near Ponoka around 6:15 a.m. claimed the life of one person, RCMP told Global News.

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The highway was closed northbound and traffic was diverted to Highway 2a at Ponoka.

RCMP did not know how many vehicles were involved in that crash, but video obtained by Global News showed several semi-finals in the ditch.

The Millet Fire Department said roads in the area have turned into ice shelves and conditions on the QEII are the worst the department has seen in years.

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A fatal crash occurred just before 7 a.m. north of Gibbons on Highway 28. RCMP said a semitrailer and a pickup truck collided, killing two people in the smaller vehicle.

EMS transported two other patients to the hospital in stable condition, Alberta Health Services said.

The highway was closed between Township Road 570 and 564 while an on-site collision analyst conducted an investigation.

There were reports from drivers that both the Highway 60 bridge over the North Saskatchewan River near Devon, and the bridge further west at Genesee, were closed Thursday morning.

Edmonton transit and school divisions stop buses

Just after 7:30 a.m., the Edmonton Transit Service said it was suspending bus service for 30 minutes due to freezing rain. LRT service would continue, ETS added.

Buses would remain parked for another 30 minutes, ETS updated around 8:10 a.m. On Demand Transit and DATS also experienced delays.

Edmonton Transit Service buses parked at the Southgate Transit Center in Edmonton, Alta. on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

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Bus service resumed around 8:45 am, but ETS said the morning ripple effect would be felt for several hours.

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“We expect system-wide delays as buses slow down due to road conditions,” the service said in a tweet.

Many school divisions have canceled morning buses due to the freezing rain, including the Parkland School Division, Sturgeon Public Schools, and Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools.

Aircraft Grounded at Edmonton Airport

Flights were suspended at Edmonton International Airport because the runways were pure ice, a Global News reporter learned at the airport.

Darrell Winwood of the airport said there were a handful of delays, but no outright cancellations.

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He reminded passengers to check the airport’s website for their flight status before leaving home as it is updated in real time.

Those leaving on Thursday should give themselves extra time and drive carefully, Winwood added.

The icy tarmac at Edmonton International Airport on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

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Warning zones for freezing rain

The freezing rain warning is in effect in and around the following communities:

  • St. Albert
  • Sherwood Park
  • Drayton Valley
  • Devon
  • Rimbey
  • Pigeon Lake
  • Leduc
  • Camrose
  • Wetaskiwin
  • Tofield
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Vegreville
  • red water
  • Smoky Lake
  • Spruce Grove/Stony Plain
  • Morinville
  • Mayerthorpe
  • Evansburg
  • westlock
  • Barrhead
  • Athabasca
  • red Deer
  • ponoka
  • Innisfail
  • Stettler

Surfaces such as highways, roads, sidewalks and parking lots can become icy and slippery. Take special care when walking or driving in affected areas.

Read more:

What to do when waiting for a tow truck?

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One of the best ways to track dangerous driving conditions locally is through local viewership reports. The #yegtraffic hashtag is often used by Twitter users reporting traffic problems within Edmonton.

Read more:

5 things to do in a car accident

Share your weather photos with us via the Global Edmonton Facebook and Twitter bills. You can also post updates from your community using the hashtags #yegwx and #abstorm.

Do you want to get back on the road? Download the Skytracker weather app from Global News for iPhone, iPad and Android.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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