Honderden automobilisten gestrand op de snelweg.Drivers stranded for up to 10 hours on Highway 1 near Canmore after massive snowfall
What started out as a lighthearted and “pretty darn Canadian” story took a decidedly difficult turn on Tuesday.
In the midst of a traffic jam on Highway 1 in the afternoon, Jens Lindemann busted out his trumpet and played “O Canada” on the side of the road.
“It was a lot funnier earlier today playing the trumpet when it was daylight,” Lindemann said in a video message to Global News late Tuesday night.
“But there are now thousands of people out here who’ve been stuck, not moving an inch, for eight and a half hours and there has not been one RCMP or emergency vehicle that’s driven by or even walked by to check on folks,” he added. “It’s now getting a little bit problematic. We’re looking after each other out here; I guess that’s the way it’s going to be tonight.”
Mackenzie Murphy was on her way from Banff to Airdrie when she took the video of Lindemann playing the trumpet.
Close to 9:30 p.m., Murphy said — through her mom Tara — that people aren’t moving and many are out of gas, adding that she is turning around to Canmore for the night.
READ MORE: ‘Pretty darn Canadian’: Trumpet player serenades snow-stranded drivers on Alberta highway
On her way home from the Kootenays to Calgary, Leah Jones said the only road warning she saw was an electronic sign that said Highway 93 was closed — nothing about Highway 1.
She was stranded right outside of Canmore as of 10:15 p.m.
“Both eastbound lanes are jammed with all of us parked here, so there’s nowhere to turn around,” Jones said.
“It’s getting quite cold. I can’t feel my feet right now.”
She said westbound lanes appear to be clear, adding that some people became stuck in the meridian trying to turn around and start moving again.
With cell service going in and out, it’s hard to stay informed with updates, Jones said. She added that when she called the RCMP on Tuesday night, they said they couldn’t offer assistance. Jones wanted to know the RCMP’s protocol for road closure delays lasting more than 10 hours.
“If it were 15 hours and -20 C, would we be in this situation? They would be hauling ass to get us off these roads,” she said.
“If it were -20 C right now, people would be dead,” she said.
Throughout the delay, Jones has been turning her vehicle — equipped with winter tires — on and off to keep warm and preserve gas.
“It’s pitch dark now. If we could’ve turned around and been safe — now you’ve got hundreds, if not, a thousand or plus cars… driving in the middle of the night here,” she said.
“Couldn’t book a room if our lives depended on it, and it kind of does,” she added. “It’s freezing out here.”
“The snow’s just coming, coming, coming.”
Pictures surfacing on social media showed jackknifed semis on snowy roads. An update from 511 just before 10 p.m. said traffic is moving but very slowly.
“The ripple effect of braking and some vehicles getting stuck momentarily is being felt along the backlog,” one of many tweets read.
Valeria Lima was stranded near Lac Des Arcs on Highway 1 heading east in a car without winter tires. As of 9 p.m., Lima has been stranded for eight hours.
“I was frustrated, of course, because we’ve lost a day here,” she said.
“We just want to get out of here.”
She is scheduled to catch a plane back to Quebec on Wednesday.
“I’m coming from Montreal — I have a lot of snow also, but I’ve never seen something like this,” she said.
Lima said she couldn’t obtain information through an automated 511 phone call, but a fellow stranded person showed her Twitter updates.
“We have no information here,” Lima said.
“The washroom is also an issue.”
As snacks and water deplete, Lima said everyone is in the same boat.
“It’s kind of a community here already,” she said.
“Travel is just not recommended in a number of areas,” said Const. Patrick Lambert at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
He said not to travel on Highway 1 near Exshaw and Highway 2 near Carstairs.
An RCMP news release issued at 11:30 p.m. said Highway 1 was closed in both directions near Lac Des Arc and Highway 2 was closed in both directions between Bowden and Crossfield. Vehicles are being detoured onto Highway 2A. The Highway 2 road closure was expected to remain in place overnight.
Siri: “Can I help you Paul?”— paulbrandt (@paulbrandt) 3 oktober 2018
Me: “Assist with snow removal.”
Siri: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
Me: “I don’t understand either Siri... it’s like October 3rd.” ???? #ABstorm pic.twitter.com/LhdRD6cTM6
This video was sent to me a few minutes ago. Still no movement — going on 7+ hours for this woman. People trying to get around on the shoulder of the road are now stuck.— Blake Lough (@Blake_Lough) 3 oktober 2018
“My phone is shaking because I’m shaking. It’s cold.” #abstorm #ABRoads pic.twitter.com/efy5DZvk0g
The day has brought record-breaking snowfall to the city of Calgary, and we have a feeling not everyone is quite as happy about it as our friend Scruffles ????— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) 3 oktober 2018
See just how much snow has fallen: https://t.co/TS73cLOuBv #ABsnow #ABstorm #YYC pic.twitter.com/dVpLNGkmzl
Sometimes it’s quicker to ski than to drive?? ⛷????❄️ Check out this video sent in to us from Selina Renfrow on Centre Street just before 6th Ave #yyc #yycroads #yyctraffic #abstorm @CTVCalgary @CTVMorningYYC pic.twitter.com/MXZfUah1o1— Mark Villani (@CTVMarkVillani) 2 oktober 2018
Snow is piling up QUICKLY in southern Alberta with treacherous road conditions already reported. Police warning to "drive with extreme caution." You honestly have to see this to believe it. WOW! https://t.co/gBAK5ZlUBi— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) 2 oktober 2018
Photo courtesy: @Neil_Zee #abstorm #absnow pic.twitter.com/pheuJcVYuo
TC-1 at #lacdesarcs we’ve been stranded here for over 8 hours. Eastbound inaccessible due to jack knifed semi. Tried to access westbound back to Canmore via overpass, but a semi jack knifed on the overpass also. Now stuck on the overpass with no way out #abstorm #stayhome pic.twitter.com/uEPEO4gxm4— Cara Lee Jasmin (@caraleejasmin) 3 oktober 2018
MacLeod Trail south is a no go! Traffic is at a total standstill in this area plus part of 25th Ave in Mission is closed for road construction. Stay away! #yyc #yyctraffic #yycsnow #abstorm #yyctransit #calgarytransit pic.twitter.com/SU9to9qCYY— Irene Seto (@HeySeto) 2 oktober 2018
#abstorm They’re trying to move the semis to the right lane of westbound Hwy 1 so the plow can clear the left lane - 6.5 fairly cheerful hours in our Banff airporter bus so far pic.twitter.com/C7oszb5OlA— Jennifer Bain (@thesaucylady) 3 oktober 2018