Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer
January 13, 2011 — Parts of southern Ontario were blasted with heavy snow Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The result was a messy commute in the Greater Toronto Area.
It was just this past weekend when the first significant blast of winter hit the Greater Toronto Area. Then, another system moved in on Tuesday giving drivers across Ontario a lot to contend with.
“Windsor and Leamington were some of the first communities that saw accumulations with around 5 cm recorded before 6 p.m. on Tuesday,” says Patrick Cool, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
The evening drive home from work on Tuesday began to deteriorate quickly for motorists in the Hamilton and Niagara regions. Slushy and partially snow covered roads were reported. While snow removal crews got a head start on the storm, numerous accidents still took place on the Wednesday morning commute.
Up to 11 cm was recorded in the city of Toronto. Not a huge amount, but enough to cause traffic delays for morning commuters on Wednesday. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) received over 800 phone calls from around the GTA. Meanwhile, places including Brampton, Hamilton and Grimsby saw well over 10 cm of snow. The most impressive numbers came from St. Catharines however, where nearly 25 cm fell by Wednesday afternoon.
Motorists are reminded to make sure vehicles were winter-ready by keeping a snow brush handy and topping up windshield wiper fluid. Sergeant Tim Ralph with Toronto Traffic Services says that drivers need to pack plenty of patience when road conditions are slick.
“Know when you're out there driving, patience isn't just a virtue, it's a requirement under the Highway Traffic Act,” Ralph says.
While conditions have improved for now, it is only a matter of a couple days before the next system moves in. The next round of stormy weather could move in just in time for the start of the weekend. As a result, city crews are making the necessary preparations.
“We're expecting another 5 to 10 cm on Saturday and on the weekend so we're anticipating getting out there again,” says Peter Noehammer, Director of Transportation Services with the City of Toronto. “So we'll be undertaking a limited amount of snow removal in the days following today [Wednesday], just to create a little more capacity to plow snow to the side of the street in anticipation of more snowfall coming.”
For a closer look at the road conditions in your area, be sure to head to the Highway Conditions Map. You can also receive updates to your cell phone, which could help keep you prepared throughout the stormy weather.
With files from Matt Casey and Andrea Stockton