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Icy, snow covered roads cause dangerous driving in northern Ontario

Staff writers

April 19, 2013 — Officials are warning motorists to adjust their travel plans Friday as heavy snow and freezing rain cause dangerous driving across parts of northern Ontario.

Additional snow forecast
Additional snow forecast

It's looking and feeling a lot more like the middle of January in parts of northern Ontario. 

A large low pressure system originating from Texas is bringing heavy snow, rain and freezing rain to the region. 

"By the early morning hours on Friday, places like Thunder Bay had already recorded around 10 cm of snow," says Meghan Yeo, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "An additional 10-15 cm is possible in northwestern and northcentral Ontario through Saturday."

According to Environment Canada, there will also be some ice pellets mixed with the snow. Wind gusts up to 50 km/h could result in some blowing snow as well. 

The poor road conditions prompted officials to issue several travel advisories and close some highways in the area Friday.

Motorists are urged to adjust their driving habits accordingly as visibilities may be reduced significantly.

Rainfall records Thursday
Rainfall records Thursday

Heavy rain has been falling in parts of cottage country and the Nickel Belt, with over 30 mm recorded in some places so far. 

An additional 25 mm could fall through Friday, bringing total rainfall amounts to near 50 mm or greater. 

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority issued a flood warning on Thursday, with the potential for flash flooding in area waterways and inland lakes. 

North Bay's Chippewa Creek began to experience minor flooding Thursday night and officials expect conditions to worsen. 

Residents are urged to remain a safe distance from waterways, as banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are extremely slippery. That combined with cold, fast-moving water can pose a serious hazard. 

Up until this point, the region has been experiencing a gradual thaw thanks to warmer daytime highs and cooler temperatures at night.

The rain is expected to taper by Friday afternoon as the system continues to push east into Quebec.

Visit the Alerts section of the website to keep on top of watches and warnings across the country.

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