Highway 1

A storm that moved in to southern Alberta late Friday evening made for unsafe driving conditions on Highway 1 east of Calgary. (Tim Webber/CBC)

Snowdrifts and poor visibility caused accidents and left several motorists stranded on the highways east and north of Calgary as an Arctic storm moved across southern Alberta late Friday.

The fast-moving Arctic weather system brought high winds and drifting snow, creating dangerous driving conditions from Chestermere to Bassano.

Both eastbound and westbound lanes were at a standstill early Saturday morning near Cluny as crews worked to clear the highway, RCMP said.

Several stranded passengers were taken to the Gleichen community centre to stay warm.

Blowing snow also led to several collisions on Highway 2 north of the city. The Olds and Bowden fire departments rescued dozens of stranded motorists, RCMP said.