Whiteouts temporarily shut down section of Highway 401

BROCKVILLE – A snow squall line, running from Kingston to Johnstown is blamed for whiteout conditions on Highway 401.

Leeds-Grenville O.P.P. have been dealing with numerous crashes along the stretch of highway since midday.

Shortly after a 10 vehicle pileup in the eastbound lanes near Gananoque (near mile marker 657 to 659), Environment Canada issued a special weather statement calling for squalls with poor visibility.

The crash involved seven passenger vehicles and three transports – one person was slightly hurt.

The situation got so bad that officers shut down a stretch of the freeway from Cardinal to Johnstown. Radar images from The Weather Channel show the squall line moving south into New York State. Officers started reopening the highway just after 5 p.m.

The weather agency said visibility could be reduced to 250 meters (820 feet) at times through Friday night but not a lot of snow is expected on the ground (five centimeters/two inches total).

Roads have been extremely slick in the area, especially in a stretch of highway from Cardinal to Prescott.

There were also reports of vehicles in the ditch, east of Joyceville Road in Leeds.

Not only have the conditions been bad, but O.P.P. officers have equally been frustrated with drivers speeding and not driving to the conditions.

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