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Heavy snow and wind hit parts of Canada

Nov. 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM   |   Comments

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- An early winter storm smacked Canada from Alberta to Manitoba Saturday, while wicked winds whipped the East Coast, forecasters said.

A major snowstorm, causing a number of road accidents and flights cancellations out of Winnipeg's airport, CTV, Winnipeg, reported.

The storm system affected parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, as flights coming in from Calgary were delayed or canceled altogether Saturday.

Emergency services officials warned people on the Northern Peninsula and west coast of Newfoundland to avoid coastal areas this weekend because of huge waves and strong surf, CBC News reported.

Winds of more than 50 mph were expected to hit the area during the weekend.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Calgary police responded to numerous car accidents, including an eight-vehicle pileup, caused by icy road conditions. By 5 p.m. local time, nine injury accidents and 186 non-injury mishaps had been reported in the previous 24 hours.

"It's complete bumper cars out there," Duty Insp. Paul Stacey said.

A winter storm warning was expected to stay in effect for southern Manitoba through Sunday, the CBC said.

Manitoba Transportation spokesman Neil Gobelle said no highways had been closed, but drivers were urged to stay home unless absolutely necessary.

"We do have a lot of snow-covered roads, partly covered, [and] there's some ice in there too and the winds are blowing and we're seeing a lot of swirling snow in traffic, reducing visibility," he said.

"If you don't have to be going out on the highway, just stay home."

Winnipeg was expected to get up to a foot of snow overnight Saturday, the CBC said.

"It's going to be a real challenge for the next day or two."

Darryl Jones of Brandon, Manitoba, whose city was in a virtual whiteout Saturday morning, said.

"The wind is actually coming out of the north, northeast and it's pushing -- actually, it's pushing my car toward the center of the highway, and at times you can't find the center of the highway with the snowdrifts."

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