Dec 14, 2010

LONDON, ON, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) continues to work with Lambton County and other emergency services agencies to rescue stranded motorists on Highway 402. 

At 9:45 pm on December 13, 2010 Lambton County declared a state-of-emergency due the winter storm which is continuing in the area.   There are approximately 360 vehicles and approximately 300 persons stranded on Highway 402 requiring extraction from Highway 401 between the London overpass (County Road 22) and the City of Sarnia.

The OPP reminds motorists to stay off the roads in this area as travel is considered to be unsafe due to snow and blowing snow.

The OPP is leading the rescue operation and working in concert with Lambton County Emergency Services personnel and resources to rescue the stranded persons.  A number of persons have already been rescued.

The OPP has established an Emergency Operations Centre and Search and Rescue Command and has committed significant resources to this rescue operation.  Specialized resources from Western Region and other Regions of the OPP have been assigned including the OPP Emergency Response Team, snowmobiles and four-wheel drive SUVs to locate and safely extract stranded persons from the highway.

OPP is working with Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) to coordinate provincial assistance. The Canadian Forces was requested by the provincial government for assistance based on the needs of the search and rescue operation. At this time the Canadian Forces have assigned a CC-130 Hercules fixed wing aircraft and two CH-146 Griffons helicopters.

OPP Critical Incident Responders remain in contact with stranded motorists and are reminding them to remain calm as the OPP and other rescuers continue to work toward their rescue.

Motorists are encouraged to tune into local radio stations CHOK AM1070, FM 106.3 or FM 99.9 to get the latest rescue updates.

Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain in their vehicle and consider pooling vehicle resources until rescuers are able to reach their location.  Motorists are also encouraged to ensure their vehicle exhaust is clear of snow to ensure clean air supply to the vehicle interior.

Members of the public inquiring about stranded motorists can call 1-888-310-1122 for information.

For media inquiries please call 519-652-4109 or 519-652-4151.

For road conditions please call 1-800-268-4686

For further information:

Media Contact: Sergeant David S. Rektor - London
519-652-4109 or 519-652-4151