Ice pel­lets, freez­ing rain ham­mer south­ern On­tario

The Sault Star - - NATIONAL NEWS - The Cana­dian Press

TORONTO — More than 35,000 peo­ple were with­out power in south­ern and cen­tral On­tario Sun­day as the re­gion was hit by an­other round of freez­ing rain and ice pel­lets.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada is­sued weather warn­ings for the en­tirety of the re­gion for the se­cond day in a row, ad­vis­ing that strong winds could ex­ac­er­bate al­ready danger­ous con­di­tions.

Pro­vin­cial power util­ity Hy­dro One said ex­tra crews were work­ing to ad­dress the out­ages, say­ing that fallen trees and bro­ken poles were caus­ing most of the is­sues.

The mix­ture of freez­ing rain and ice pel­lets made for par­tic­u­larly bad road con­di­tions, said Chris Scott, chief me­te­o­rol­o­gist with The Weather Net­work.

“These ice pel­lets have acted like very dense snow on the road,” he said. “That’s cre­ated treach­er­ous driv­ing con­di­tions across much of south­ern On­tario, but es­pe­cially in the GTA.”

On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice said there were more than 550 crashes on high­ways sur­round­ing Toronto on Satur­day — none of them fa­tal — and that there had been more than 150 more by early Sun­day af­ter­noon. Wind warn­ings were also is­sued with gusts up to 90 kilo­me­tres per hour fore­cast for the Hamil­ton area — strong enough to cause prop­erty dam­age and fur­ther power out­ages.

Scott said ar­eas near Lake Erie were hit with the most freez­ing rain and ice pel­lets, while the re­gion around St. Thomas, Ont., had the most power out­ages.

“It’s rare to get such a win­ter storm this late in the sea­son,” said Scott, not­ing that south­ern On­tario hasn’t seen such an in­tense ice storm in April in over a decade.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada said the freez­ing rain and ice pel­lets would change to solid rain later Sun­day as tem­per­a­tures rise, start­ing in the west and mov­ing east.

In the mean­time, Toronto’s Pear­son Air­port ad­vised trav­ellers to check the sta­tus of their flights be­fore leav­ing. More than 250 flights were can­celled Satur­day and an­other sev­eral hun­dred early Sun­day af­ter­noon.


A man shov­els his side­walk dur­ing a spring storm in Toronto on Satur­day.

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