BORDEN-CARLETON – While the collision scene has been cleared the ordeal seems to be far from over for families involved in a nine-car pileup near the Confederation Bridge this morning.
Individuals involved in the wreck this morning are being hosted at the Borden-Carleton Fire Department while weather conditions continue to create zero visibility conditions in the area.
“The bridge is still closed. RCMP is telling everybody to stay off the road and they (the families) don’t have any vehicles to drive, they’re all from off-Island,” said fire chief Paul Murphy.
Wilson’s Gas Station in Borden is also reportedly filled with people stuck in the storm, while the Carleton Hotel is also full.
Murphy said some of the individuals involved in the collision, many who were families and hockey players involved in the North River Sweetheart Tournament over the weekend, managed to book rooms in a Bedeque motel.
He said the department will transport those individuals when the weather clears up.
However, that could still be quite a while.
“We could be here for quite some time,” he said. “There’s no sense of risking anyone’s lives to try and get them out on the highway. We’re just going to try and keep everybody comfortable here.”
Firefighters have provided the families with coffee and donuts, while some locals have also made sandwiches.
The multiple vehicle pile-up occurred just after the Confederation Bridge shut down at 10:30 a.m. this morning.
There were no serious injuries in the collision, although police initially had a hard time reaching the scene.
Deteriorating conditions and near-zero visibility caused the pile-up, which led to at least five cars being effectively written off.
Island EMS also responded to the collision along with members of Prince District RCMP.
The RCMP is also asking that people stay off the roads, with Route 2 from Tignish to Summerside closed as well as part of the Trans-Canada Highway.
"Dept. of Transportation via the RCMP is requesting people to stay off the roads as there are extremely poor driving conditions due to the overnight storm," said a statement issued from the L-division headquarters at 6:30 a.m.
"Plows are having difficulties and they would like to advise that it will take longer than anticipated to tend to the secondary roads," say police.
"If you absolutely need to go out the road this morning please drive with extreme care," said the statement.
The request for an advisory came from the Summerside dispatch office of highway maintenance.
Motorists who are currently traveling are asked to exercise caution and watch for abandoned vehicles, particularly in intersections such as the rotary in New Annan (Route 1A and Route 2) and the intersection of Route 1 & 1A in Albany.
An Environment Canada winter storm warning remains in effect for the entire province.