Drivers pack vehicles underneath Calgary overpass amid hail storm, tornado warning
A group of drivers took shelter under a highway overpass in northwest Calgary to wait out a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning Thursday. (Supplied/City of Calgary)
CALGARY -- Fearing damage to their vehicles, dozens of drivers on a busy Calgary highway parked under an overpass to wait out a severe weather warning Thursday.
Environment Canada called a severe thunderstorm warning for Calgary and area Thursday afternoon but, moments later, the advisory was upgraded to a tornado warning.
The advisory was called for a strong storm that brought with it heavy rain, high wind and even reports of large hail.
As soon as the storm hit, drivers on one of the busiest roads in Calgary sought cover wherever they could, including stopping in the middle of the highway to take shelter under an overpass.
The scene, on Crowchild Trail at Shaganappi Trail N.W., was captured on a city traffic camera and was then shared on social media.
Many of the comments shared the sentiment that the strategy was a bad idea.
"Worst thing they could do right now," one comment read.
Others said, given the threat of the tornado warning, being under an overpass was probably not that safe a place to be either.
"It is the most dangerous spot due to the structure accelerating the winds," another read.
The Calgary Police Service agrees with the risk of stopping in the middle of a highway even during a storm, saying the stunt can prove to be a serious traffic hazard for other drivers.
"It is dangerous for drivers to stop under overpasses during storms," a media spokesperson wrote in an email to CTV News. "The roadway can become congested very quickly, which can increase the risk for a collision."
If any driver feels uneasy about driving through a severe storm, CPS advises they should exit the highway safely and not impede the flow of traffic.
"(They should) park in a safe location, such as a side street or parking lot, if they choose to stop."