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Fort Macleod community hall welcomes stranded travellers

Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience and FCSS director Angie O'Connor get an update on the highways Sunday evening from RCMP Const. Chantel Robitaille.

Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience and FCSS director Angie O’Connor get an update on the highways Sunday evening from RCMP Const. Chantel Robitaille.


Volunteers Marie Van Ee and Stephanie Arnoldussen registered stranded travellers at the emergency centre.

Volunteers Marie Van Ee and Stephanie Arnoldussen registered stranded travellers at the emergency centre.

Two hundred and 35 people stranded by a winter storm sought shelter Sunday at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
Volunteers from Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services tended to the immediate needs of the travellers.
Troy Basarab and Cam Basarab were on their way home to Lethbridge after a weekend on the slopes at Fernie.
“This is excellent,” Troy Basarab said. “It’s very great of the people to make us welcome and to make sure everybody is safe and dry and warm.”
Volunteers registered people as they arrived at the community centre, and later recorded their departure.
In addition to tables and chairs where they could rest, the stranded travellers were offered coffee, tea, pop, juice, apples, oranges, bananas.
Later, Nels Hansen, Erik Hansen, Michelle Hansen and Geoff Markey of Hansen’s Family Foods delivered a load of pizza and sandwiches to feed the crowd.
Jon Austin of Extra Foods delivered fresh fruit and vegetables as well as snack bars for the travellers.
“We have a great crew of volunteers,” said Angie O’Connor, director of Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services. “Macleod is great.”
O’Connor said Fort Macleod residents were calling to find out if they could help, and to offer their homes for travellers stranded overnight.
RCMP asked Volker Stevin crews to close highways in the area this afternoon due to icy conditions and poor visibility.
The community hall was opened as an emergency shelter in Fort Macleod shortly after 3 p.m.
Police and emergency crews at times reported white outs on the highway as they responded to numerous reports of motor vehicle crashes.
At 5:25 p.m. Sunday Claresholm RCMP lifted the roadblock permit northbound traffic.
At 6:11 p.m. Fort Macleod RCMP removed the roadblock on Highway 2 to allow northbound traffic. Although the highway is open, travel is still not recommended.
Fort Macleod RCMP opened Highway 3 eastbound about 6:30 p.m., although travel is not recommended.

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