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Wind warning: dust storm leads to collisions, brief highway closure near Taber

Dust storm on Highway 3, east of Taber, as seen from a 511 Alberta traffic camera on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. Credit: 511 Alberta

Southern Alberta is known for windy conditions, but on Monday the strong gusts also picked up a great deal of dust and sand, leading to very poor visibility on area roads.

Shortly after 1 p.m, RCMP said officers were responding to numerous collisions on Highway 3, east of Coaldale and west of Taber.

RCMP did not say how many collisions were caused by the dust storm.

Environment Canada also issued a wind warning for much of southern Alberta just after 1 p.m.

The national weather agency said strong winds with gusts up to 90-110 km/h will persist through the afternoon before moderating in the evening.

Read more: Large crash closes Highway 1 east of Calgary as strong wind, snow pummels southern Alberta

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The Municipal District of Taber also issued an Alberta Emergency Alert, saying a strong windstorm was carrying dust and sand east of McCains and Chin, on Highway 3.

“Visibility is very poor and Highway 3 is closed between Range Road 185 to 190. Traffic on Highway 3 is being detoured,” said the dust storm information alert issued just before 1:45 p.m.

The alert was dropped around 4:30 p.m., when the municipality said the dust storm was no longer a threat and Highway 3 had been reopened.

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