Calgary socked by blizzard dropping up to foot of snow

Dec. 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM   |   0 comments

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Much of southern and central Alberta is enduring blizzard conditions police said are to blame for a highway pileup that may include 40 cars outside Calgary.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said reports of a massive accident on Highway 2 south of Calgary has closed the area as snow and heavy winds make travel conditions hazardous. White-outs were reported across the area with blowing snow making it impossible to see. Police have instituted a driving ban in the area.

The visibility is so poor snow plows have been pulled off the road, a spokesman for plowing company Volker Stevin said.

"It's a total whiteout out there. [Plow drivers] can't see the roads so they become a hazard to the public and a hazard to themselves," said company spokesman Jack Brown. "For their safety, we're pulling them out of there."

There were no immediate reports of injuries as a result of that or other accidents, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., said Monday afternoon.

In total, the storm system is expected to drop up to a foot of snow across parts of the Canadian prairie with flurries continuing into Tuesday, government forecasters said.

More than 80 flights out of Calgary International Airport have been canceled as of 3 p.m. Monday.

The Calgary school district and many surrounding school systems closed for the day Monday, as well.

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