WINNIPEG — RCMP asked people to stay off the highways if possible after roads and schools closed in Manitoba Wednesday as the province was hit by a spring snowstorm.
Highway 75 was closed due to poor visibility and road conditions south of Winnipeg from 8:20 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The highway was closed all the way to the U.S. border at 8:45 a.m., but reopened from Morris to the border at 10:15 a.m. The highway was completely reopened at 11:45 a.m.
“When we have bad day like this… motorists slow down to a crawl, they slow down a lot of them stay off the roads,” said Brian Smiley of Manitoba Public Insurance.
A crash closed the westbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley, Man., just west of Winnipeg, to five kilometres west of Elie, Man., from shortly after 7 a.m. until just past 8:30 a.m.
WATCH: Spring snowstorm creates chaos on Manitoba roads
Fort la Bosse, Park West, Border Land, Garden Valley and Red River Valley school divisions cancelled school.
The Franco-Manitoban School Division cancelled classes at St. Agathe and St. Jean Baptiste schools, and buses for Jours de Plaine, St. Lazare and Aurèle-Lemoine schools.
And Environment Canada says temperatures will be below normal for the next few days, meaning this snow and slush will freeze causing more dangerous driving conditions this week.
Mountain View, Rolling River, Turtle River, Beautiful Plains and Garden Valley school divisions cancelled buses. Lakeshore School Division was open and buses were running, but bus delays were expected, with some pickups possibly not serviceable.
A bus rolled on Highway 75 south of St. Adolphe near the Glenlea Research Centre, which closed that highway earlier. One person was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while all the other passengers were treated at the scene. All of the passengers were adults.
A semi-trailer truck jack-knifed on the Trans-Canada Highway, closing the westbound lanes from Headingley, Man., to five kilometres west of Elie, Man. Semis jack-knifed on multiple highways across the province, RCMP said.
A woman and two children had to be extricated from a vehicle that ended up in a watery ditch next to Highway 8 (McPhillips Street) in Winnipeg. No one was injured in that crash and the road wasn’t closed.
Roads are bad across the southern half of the province after a storm brought snow overnight, the Manitoba road report shows. Drivers are urged to be cautious as multiple crashes were reported Wednesday morning.
And it’s not just the roads, manitoba hydro was reporting power outages across the province as wet snow combined with strong winds caused temporary blackouts.
“The wet snow will actually accumulate on our conductor and… the high winds can actually grab that snow… and that can start to shake the lines,” Anthonie Koop of Manitoba Hydro.
Crews will continue to work on restoring power to residents throughout the province.