Highways close as freezing rain crosses southern Manitoba

By | December 7, 2019

A stretch of Highway 1 and another of Highway 26 west of Winnipeg have been closed in southern Manitoba, after a band of freezing rain moved through the region on Saturday.

A freezing rain remains in effect for most of the Red River Valley and the Whiteshell. Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie were both also under the warning before it was lifted around 1 p.m. Saturday.

The weather prompted Manitoba Infrastructure to close Highway 1 between Headingley to Portage la Prairie. The entire length of Highway 26 — from St. François Xavier to Portage la Prairie — has also been closed, the department said in news releases Saturday afternoon.

Closure gates or signs may not be present at all closure locations, the province said.

Manitoba RCMP said Saturday afternoon that road conditions were deteriorating and several collisions have been reported between Headingley and Elie. 

Environment Canada said the freezing rain is expected to spread east along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor. Most affected areas will see one to two hours of freezing rain, mixed with snow at times, before it tapers off.

Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery, and drivers are urged to take extra caution and slow down on the road.

The warning was issued for the following rural municipalities:

  • Ritchot (including St. Adolphe and Ste. Agathe).
  • Tache (including Lorette, Ste. Genevieve and Landmark).
  • Ste. Anne (including Richer).
  • St. Laurent (including Oak Point).
  • Woodlands (including Warren and Lake Francis).
  • Rockwood (including Teulon, Stonewall and Stony Mountain).
  • Rosser (including Meadows).
  • West St. Paul (including Middlechurch and Rivercrest).
  • St. Andrews (including Selkirk, Lockport and Ponemah).

A freezing rain warning has also been issued for Dugald (including Beausejour and Grand Beach), Portage la Prairie (including Headingley, Brunkild and Carman) and Whiteshell (including Lac du Bonnet and Pinawa).

Freezing rain warnings are issued when rain falling in sub-zero temperatures creates ice buildup and icy surfaces. 

Environment Canada said ice buildup of 0.5 to 2 mm is likely Saturday.