White­out con­di­tions close Heart’s Con­tent Bar­rens

The Compass - - NEWS -

Trav­el­ling north on Route 70 on the morn­ing of Jan. 8, the roads ap­peared clear, with lit­tle snow.

It would come as a sur­prise to some, who con­tin­ued their jour­ney down Route 74, that the Heart’s Con­tent Bar­rens were com­pletely the op­po­site.

Only a few kilo­me­tres past Vic­to­ria, the winds were high, blow­ing snow across the two-lane high­way. The roads were a slick layer of ice, cov­ered with snow. Lines painted on the roads were not vis­i­ble in most places, and driv­ers had dif­fi­culty see­ing if there were ve­hi­cles com­ing to­wards, or be­hind them.

This is what The Com­pass ex­pe­ri­enced af­ter the high­way be­tween Vic­to­ria and Heart’s Con­tent was closed last week by the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Works be­cause it was con­sid­ered im­pas­si­ble.

Al­though a warn­ing was is­sued and re­ported by news me­dia in the prov­ince, not to men­tion on so­cial me­dia by those who were rerouted north, af­ter head­ing south from Heart’s Con­tent, ve­hi­cles sti l l pushed through the white­out con­di­tions and took a chance on the bar­rens.

Cars and trucks alike were trav­el­ling as if there were no snow, dis- re­gard­ing the warn­ings. But ve­hi­cles were few and far in be­tween.

Winds were rough

If a ve­hi­cle were to stop, and the driver at­tempted to exit, it would be dif­fi­cult to open the door, as the wind — com­ing from the west — forced it­self against the side, as if it were bar­ri­cad­ing the door, as wit­nessed by a Com­pass reporter who at­tempted to cross the bar­rens be­fore 9 a.m. Wed­nes­day. As ve­hi­cles drove, they would dis­ap­pear into the white haze that cov­ered the roads.

A depart­ment plow was on the bar­rens at that time, clear­ing the north­bound lane — the lane where most of the snow had drifted.

A news re­lease is­sued by the depart­ment early that morn­ing re­ferred to the driv­ing con­di­tions as “very dan­ger­ous,” with “lit­tle to no vis­i­bil­ity.”

Route 74 was open to traf­fic again by the af­ter­noon, when the ad­vi­sory was lifted.

No re­port s of ac cidents or in­juries were re­ported to the depart­ment dur­ing the time the warn­ing was in place.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.