07/25/2014 01:59 EDT | Updated 09/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Flights Cancelled Because Of High Winds At Edmonton Airport


High winds and heavy rainfall Friday have forced flights to be cancelled at Edmonton International Airport.

WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer said in an email that the airline has suspended all flights at Edmonton International until 5 p.m. MT. Thirty-three flights in and out of Edmonton have been affected so far. 

A wind warning for the area had been in effect earlier, but has since ended. However, Palmer says the problem still persists. 

“The crosswinds in their current form and the speed of the wind is above the safety threshold of our 737 fleet," he said. 

Some flights bound for Edmonton were diverted to Calgary. The airport says that delays or diversions will continue throughout the day.

Edmonton Airports spokeswoman Heather Hamilton is advising travellers to check the EIA website before heading to the airport.

There were reports that the flights were diverted due to earthworms on the runway, which Hamilton said isn’t true.

Sweepers were out this morning making sure there was no standing water on the runway.

“That’s just to make sure that there’s no water on the runway that’s going to potentially cause a safety issue of skidding or hydroplaning on the runway,” Hamilton said.

She said the sweepers could be used to clean up earthworms after the storm.

“We usually do it as a preventative measure just because we don’t want them to attract birds.”

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