Highway closures slowly lifting across Saskatchewan (updated 2 p.m.)

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It sure does not look like the first day of spring, with ice covered and snow packed roads creating treacherous driving conditions in the Southwest. This photo shows the late afternoon driving conditions on Highway #32 south of Cabri.

Motorists have the long awaited green light to begin traveling on the TransCanada Highway west of Swift Current, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure lifting their closed advisory for motorists.

As of mid Wednesday afternoon, the road was upgraded to winter conditions existing, but the TransCanada remained closed from Carnport to Mortlach for people heading east.

However, wide spread highway closures remain in effect across the province, with  ice covered highways and roads with deep drifts making travel dangerous in much of Saskatchewan.

Other Southwest roads with highway closure recommendations are:

Highway #363 from Hodgeville to Nedipath.

Highway #19 from the North Junction of Highway #363 to the TransCanada Highway; Kincaid to North Junction of Highway #363.

Highway #43 from Vanguard to the Junction of Highway #19.

Travel not recommended advisories are in place on a number of area roads, including Highway #4 from Cadillac to Swift Current, and Swift Current through to Rosetown.

The Saskatchewan RCMP Media Relations issued a statement earlier this morning, noting that overnight the RCMP received 127 calls reporting motor vehicle problems as a result of the storm, ranging in severity from crashes and semi-units jack knifing on the highway, to vehicles stuck in the ditch, and in some cases stuck on the driving lanes of highways.

"Weather conditions have resulted in travel conditions not being safe through much of the province.  Travel is not recommended on most roads with some being closed due to the blizzard like conditions," the RCMP travel advisory notes.

"We have no idea when the weather will break and conditions improve for the motoring public.  Emergency lines continue to be inundated with such calls and we ask that people check the highways hotline online at http://hotline.gov.sk.ca

Travellers have both good and bad weather news for today and Friday. Environment Canada has lifted the blowing snow advisory which had been in effect for the past 24 hours in the Swift Current - Herbert - Cabri - Kyle - Lucky Lake forecast region.

However, Environment Canada is now forecasting more snow for tonight and tomorrow. Snow was already falling along the Alberta border during the afternoon hours, and Swift Current has a forecast 60 per cent chance of flurries tonight, while an additional two to four centimeters of snow is anticipated on Friday. Saturday's forecast also calls for periods of snow.

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Gull Lake Rush Lake Hodgeville

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