Highway 400 is closed in both directions between Highway 89 and Mapleview Drive amid whiteout conditions and a multi-vehicle pileup, Ontario Provincial Police confirmed Monday.
“Officers are on scene, paramedics are on scene,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said. “(There were) about 15 or so vehicles involved in the collisions that took place here in the last couple hours.”
On Monday afternoon, Schmidt said whiteout conditions were present on Highway 400 between Line 5 near Highway 88 all the way up to Barrie to Mapleview Drive. He also said the weather conditions in the area are unpredictable — one minute there’s blue skies, followed quickly by whiteout conditions.
“We can’t reopen the highways if the conditions are going to be unpredictable like this,” Schmidt added. “It is so windy out here. You can’t see a thing.”
Schmidt said there’s been no reports of serious injuries and that snowplows have arrived to clear the snow.
“We’re still dealing with traffic being relieved here on the 400 southbound lanes approaching Innisfil Beach Road,” Schmidt said late Monday afternoon.
“Once they’re gone, the highway will remain shut until conditions are such that we won’t have a repeat of what happened this afternoon.”
Schmidt said the crashes took place in the southbound lanes of Highway 400, with there being no crashes on the northbound side of the highway.
“I can’t see in front of me more than 50 yards,” he said. “This is dangerous, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with right now.”
The southbound lanes of Highway 400 are also closed between Quarry Road and Highway 12 West at Waubaushene due to a multi-vehicle crash and whiteout conditions. OPP said the detour is at Quarry Road into Waubaushene.
Nearby, OPP also said multiple vehicle were involved in a crash on Highway 11 southbound at Line 13 in Oro-Medonte. The highway was closed for a period of time for cleanup, but it’s since been reopened.
On Monday, Environment Canada warned of whiteouts and potentially damaging winds in the region, saying visibility will be reduced to zero at times.