Canadian military and police rescued 150 people today on a snow-covered highway in Ontario after an unusually powerful blizzard left hundreds of motorists stranded.
A military plane and two military helicopters battled strong winds and blinding snow to help pull dozens of drivers from their vehicles to safety on Highway 402 outside the city of Sarnia, about 65 miles north of Detroit.
The storm trapped nearly 400 drivers on a lonely stretch of the highway overnight, and they struggled to stay warm in conditions Canadian authorities said were extremely dangerous. “We’re talking violent winds and heavy snow,” Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. David Rektor told Reuters. “Some of these cars are stuck in drifts that are 4 or 5 feet deep.”
Rescuers arrived this morning and began offering the drivers rides out of the storm on snowmobiles and 4x4s. Helicopters arrived as well and airlifted some of the motorists in baskets 10 at a time, then took them to warming centers closer to Sarnia, according to the Toronto Star.