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Caution urged as Highway 1 reopens in southern Alberta after 15-vehicle crash

Click to play video: 'Extreme weather continues to plague Trans-Canada Highway' Extreme weather continues to plague Trans-Canada Highway
WATCH: RCMP say extreme weather conditions are still a concern along the Trans-Canada Highway after it was reopened late Wednesday. Gary Bobrovitz reports – Feb 15, 2018

The RCMP said non-essential travel was not recommended as extreme weather conditions continued along parts of Highway 1 in southern Alberta on Wednesday night.

Motorists told Global News driving on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Strathmore and west of Bassano has been a white-knuckle ride.

“It’s just an ice-covered highway. I did 60 (kilometres an hour) all the way with four-wheel drive on the truck (and) I was still slipping all over the place” Alex Alves told Global News.

He was hauling a horse trailer from Brooks to Calgary.

Highway 1 between Strathmore and Gleichen was back open as of 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, after Alberta RCMP closed the section due to a multi-vehicle collision and bad weather.

Officers from Strathmore responded to the multi-vehicle crash, which involved at least 15 vehicles, just after noon on Wednesday.

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The pileup happened at Highway 1 and Highway 21, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Curtis Peters said.

Snow, freezing rain and wind have made for very icy roads and low visibility.

RCMP said the closure was expected to last up to three hours.

“Bassano RCMP are also advising motorists of extreme winter driving conditions east of the closure area. Non-essential travel is not advised due to icy roads and reduced visibility,” RCMP said in a release.

Two patients were taken to hospital in Strathmore with non-life-threatening injuries, EMS said.

WATCH: Blizzard-like conditions created some big issues on roads in and around Calgary on Wednesday. As Bindu Suri reports, conditions were so bad a portion on the QEII highway was closed.

Click to play video: 'Winter storm closes portion of QEII' Winter storm closes portion of QEII
Winter storm closes portion of QEII – Feb 14, 2018

For the second straight day, Pincher Creek RCMP recommended that drivers not attempt to travel on Highway 3 because of high winds, blowing snow and ice-covered roads. They said officers had been called to numerous reports of crashes and vehicles in ditches.

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READ MORE: Southern Alberta woman seriously injured after running ‘straight toward’ moving vehicle

On Wednesday afternoon, Alberta Transportation issued a news release advising anyone in southern Alberta who doesn’t need to be on the road to simply stay home.

“Those people who must drive are advised to prepare for winter conditions, including reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces and adjust their driving habits accordingly,” the statement read.

-With files from Phil Heidenreich

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