Manitoba highways reopen after blizzard conditions
Published Sunday, February 7, 2016 11:22AM CST
Last Updated Monday, February 8, 2016 9:54AM CST
Several Manitoba highways have reopened after Sunday's blustery winter weather.
Environment Canada issued blizzard warnings for parts of the Red River Valley Sunday morning. Blowing snow driven by high winds closed multiple highways in Southern Manitoba on Sunday.
The only highways that remained closed Monday morning included Highway 1 from Portage la Prairie to Headingley and Highway 2 from Starbuck to St. Claude. Both are now open.
On Sunday trucks and cars were lined up along Highway 1 west of Winnipeg, where the highway was closed between Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie. Highway 75 between Morris and Winnipeg was also closed.
RCMP reported 14 crashes throughout the day. They saythere are some stranded motorists and an unknown number of vehicles stuck, or in a ditch, mostly south and west of Winnipeg.
"Oh it’s awful," said Mandy Landers, who lives in Souris. "There’s spots you can’t see a block in front of you. It’s just horrible.
"If you don’t have to go anywhere, stay home."
“Blizzard conditions have developed this morning from Lake Manitoba through Elie, Morris, and Emerson with poor visibilities of 400 metres or less due to snow and blowing snow,” said Environement Canada in a warning posted on its website.
Some drivers prepared for the worst. "Well I filled up with fuel and I'm sitting here where it's safe," said Herman McNabb, who was parked in his truck. "You know, and I got a pop here and I had something to eat before I left the city, so I'm good for a day."
Even so, the strenth and longevity of the storm surprised him. "I've never been stopped here in all my life. I've never been held up on a road, nowhere."
By 5 p.m. Sunday, PTH 3 from Carman to the Perimeter, PTH 23 between Morris and PR 336, and Hwy 14, from Plum Coulee to Hwy 75 had re-opened. For the latest closure notices, visit manitoba511.ca.
Close call for woman on ice fishing trip
That same bad weather created a close call for a woman near Grand Beach.
RCMP say a woman got lost after an ice-fishing trip Friday night when a winter blast created whiteout conditions on Lake Winnipeg.
Officers say the woman left her ice shack on an ATV and ended up lost.
Area fire crews were also notified, but the woman's husband found her and the search and rescue operation was cancelled.
Some outdoor activities cancelled, others go ahead
Conditions in Winnipeg, however, were not as bad. A blowing snow advisory was issued for Winnipeg, with poor visibility in some areas. Although Winnipeg was expected to get strong winds, Environment Canada did not expect them to reach the “blizzard threshold.”
The blustery weather cancelled outdoor programming at The Forks. This is the second time the Arctic Glacier Winter Park programming has been cancelled this winter.
That meant no snowboarding lessons, no indigenous workshops, and no djs under the canopy for Soul on Ice.
Instead, families were invited to cozy up inside the market, to get creative and make arts and crafts.
The Forks' ice sculpting workshop did go ahead.
An internationally acclaimed sculptor hosted a free session under Queen Elizabeth Way on how to design and carve ice.
The ice comes from the Red River before being turned into a piece of frozen art.
"You know, most people never really carve ice,” said Luca Roncoroni.“For most people, it’s the first time, and it’s quite nice to see their reaction the first time they put the chisel in the ice, and they realize it’s not as hard as one might think, it’s not as stone, or not even as wood, so even small children can do something."
Roncoroni is originally from Italy and now lives in Norway, where he focuses on architecture.
He says he hopes to return to Winnipeg next year to chisel another ice sculpture for the river trail.
Environment Canada expectd conditions to improve by Sunday evening. People can report poor weather conditions by emailing email@example.com or tweeting reports to #MBStorm.