Record winds cause disruptions across Alberta
Nicole Weisberg, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:47AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 15, 2014 7:30PM MST
Record high winds across Alberta caused property damage, power outages and disruptions to Edmonton public transit Wednesday morning.
At Edmonton’s City Centre Airport, sustained winds were recorded at 65 km/h and winds were gusting at 120 km/h, setting a new record. The previous wind gust record for January was set in 1972 at 114 km/h.
At 7 a.m. LRT service was shut down between Century Park and South Campus because of more than a dozen damaged crossing arms along 111 Street.
Extra buses were brought in to help supplement the loss of service.
South LRT service resumed at 3 p.m. Wednesday, in time for the afternoon commute. Edmonton Transit Service said trains would not be travelling at their normal speed through the area, running every 8 minutes instead of every 5 minutes, as crews continue repairing crossings along the line.
In Edmonton, EPCOR reported a number of power outages due to problems caused by high winds. Two had been restored by 8 a.m. but several areas were still being worked on.
The City of Edmonton put out a notice about problems with traffic lights at various intersections.
There were also outages reported outside Edmonton.
At 9 a.m. Fortis Alberta reported 15,000 customers without power. Some of the larger areas experiencing outages include the Athabasca area, Camrose area and St. Albert. The electricty provider said resources had been deployed including crews from other areas.
Powerful winds spurred RCMP to issue a warning to motorists regarding poor driving conditions.
At 8 a.m. on Highway 2, a semi-truck rolled near the Millet overpass and the southbound lanes of the highway were closed, no injuries were reported.
RCMP hadn't confirmed the cause of the crash but another semi-truck driver told CTV News that winds gusts were dangerously strong.
"Coming onto Highway 2, she went partially sideways - so that's it, I'm finished for the day." said Dave Lowman.
Traffic had to be rerouted on the QEII for about 3 hours.
Lac La Biche RCMP had shutdown Highway 881 from Lac La Biche to Conklin. Late Wednesday afternoon, it was reopened.
The majority of the province is expected to experience high winds until late Wednesday.
With files from Dan Grummett and Laura Tupper