Section of Highway 400 closes amid whiteout, multi-vehicle pileup (Report)

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Section of Highway 400 closes amid whiteout, multi-vehicle pileup (Report)
Section of Highway 400 closes amid whiteout, multi-vehicle pileup (Report)

Highway 400 has now reopened both ways between Highway 88 and Mapleview Drive in Barrie following a pileup that occurred amid whiteout conditions Monday afternoon.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said 15 vehicles were involved in the pileup shortly before 2:30 p.m.

While there were some head and neck injuries no serious injuries were reported, Schmidt said.

“Please be aware of changing weather conditions and road conditions very quickly,” Schmidt said. “Visibility (is) less than 400 meters, I was just hearing from officers that are on scene.

Drivers were forced off the highway approaching the blocked-off area and drivers were advised to use alternate routes.

Dozens of vehicles stuck in the blocked-off area I had to wait for hours until they could leave.

At around 5:30 p.m., drivers stuck in the backlog were finally able to leave, but the OPP said that Highway 400 would remain shut down in the area until conditions improved.

At around 9 p.m., the OPP said the highway had reopened.

Snow squall warning in effect

At around 2:10 p.m., Environment Canada issued a snow squall warning for Barrie and a number of surrounding areas, such as Collingwood, Midland and Orillia.

The agency warned that “dangerous” snow squalls and whiteout conditions were possible today and tonight.

“Snow squalls will continue through tonight off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Widespread blowing snow and possible blizzard-like conditions is the biggest concern this afternoon and evening. Some areas may see heavy snowfall accumulation as well,” Environment Canada said. “Whiteouts and dangerous travel conditions have been reported across the area this afternoon.”

The warning said strong winds and blowing snow could suddenly cause visibility to reduce to near zero with little notice.

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