Periods of heavy snow and poor visibility created traffic backups and road closures in parts of Chatham-Kent and Essex County Friday.

Eastbound traffic on Highway 401 was backed up from Tilbury to Chatham after several accidents and cars in ditches.

Highway 401 eastbound lanes were closed near Merlin Town Line after a tractor trailer jack-knifed around 8:45 a.m. Friday morning.

OPP say the rig was across the highway, wedged between two guard rails. The engine came out and the diesel tanks came off and spilled the fuel.

Clean up at the crash site was expected to last until 6 p.m Friday. There were no injuries.

Chatham-Kent police say Queens Line also closed from Highway 401 to Merlin Road due to several crashes and vehicles sliding off the road.

Sgt. Ed MacLean cautioned motorists to slow down.

“People just don’t drive to the weather conditions,” says MacLean.

Essex County OPP say conditions are pretty good with the exception of County Road 42 between Belle River and Tilbury. There have been no major collisions, but roads are snow covered and slick.