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Snow wreaks havoc on Ontario roads


Staff writers

January 22, 2012 — A sudden burst of snow made for treacherous driving conditions this week. Two people were killed on Thursday in a multi-vehicle pileup.

A 32-vehicle collision occurred in southwestern Ontario's Highway 402 Thursday
A 32-vehicle collision occurred in southwestern Ontario's Highway 402 Thursday

Blowing snow, poor visibility and slippery roadways have led to a series of problems on roadways across southern Ontario this week.

On Tuesday, a system moved in from the U.S., bringing everything from fog, to snow, to damaging winds. Toronto Pearson saw wind gusts in excess of 70 km/h that day – which was more than enough to cause problems in the city's downtown core. Scaffolding and tarps came loose, hydro lines were torn down and street cars were delayed.

In southern Ontario, temperatures remained mild enough for most of the precipitation to fall as rain. The city of Toronto hit a high of 10°C, smashing a record of 9.4°C set back in 1990.

Despite the warm up, dense fog developed over the region.

On Thursday, a clipper system pushed across the province, bringing a combination of snow and strong winds and contributing to a 32-car pileup on Highway 402 near Sarnia. “Emergency responders had actually responded to a crash involving a motor vehicle and a transport truck where there were allegedly injuries,” said Constable John Reurink of the Ontario Provincial Police. “At that time, a chain reaction occurred ... and we had two people that died as a result of injuries.”

Precipitation forecast through Monday
Precipitation forecast through Monday

As Thursday's system pushed into Newfoundland, it was replaced by another low pressure system followed by lake effect flurries on Friday.

“Almost everyone south of Kingston saw some snow [Friday evening],” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. While only a small amount of snow fell across the GTA - Toronto Pearson recorded 1 cm and Markham 4 cm - it was enough to reduce visibility and create dangerous driving conditions.

In the days ahead, rain will move into southern Ontario on Sunday, in the overnight hours. It will continue through to Monday evening.

Make sure to check out the Alerts section of our website for the latest weather information in your area.

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