Bus service cancelled; freezing rain alert issued for Edmonton region

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued freezing rain warnings just before 5 a.m. for Edmonton and surrounding areas.

The weather alert was in effect as far north as Slave Lake and as far south as Red Deer and Stettler, and also includes several municipal districts west and east of Alberta’s capital city. CTV News Edmonton’s chief meteorologist Josh Classen said highways from Whitecourt and Athabasca south to Red Deer and east to the Saskatchewan border were hit with freezing rain and/or wet snow.

The government weather department warned the rain and sub-zero temperatures could result in icy highways, roads and sidewalks.

As of 6:30 a.m., 511 Alberta was reporting a multi-vehicle collision in south Leduc on Highway 2 and a jackknifed semi on Highway 13 west of Wetaskiwin. 

“If you can stay off highways in central and north-central Alberta, that’s the safest bet this morning,” Classen said. 

He added: “Some roads in the city of Edmonton are more wet and slushy, rather than hard ice. But, it may be tough to tell as other roads have glare ice that appears wet. As always, give yourself some extra time on the roads and some extra stopping time between you and the vehicle in front of you.”

Classen expects the freezing rain to end by mid morning, as wind starts to pick up and polish surfaces. While no precipitation is forecast for the afternoon or evening, roads will likely still be very icy. 

The capital region saw a bout of dangerous freezing rain two weeks ago. Three people were killed in crashes on highways outside the city, and dozens more less serious incidents were reported to police.

SCHOOLS CANCEL BUS SERVICE

At least two school divisions in the Edmonton area cancelled bus service Wednesday morning.

Although schools in the Elk Island Public and Greater St. Albert Catholic districts will remain open, both called off bus service in the morning because of poor road conditions. Both also said a decision would be made around noon about afternoon bus service. 

As well, Wolf Creek Public Schools in Ponoka cancelled morning bus service. 

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