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Snow squalls force road closures in Ontario

Snow squalls shut down roads in southern Ontario Wednesday
Snow squalls shut down roads in southern Ontario Wednesday

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

March 2, 2011 — Intense, isolated snow squalls led to white-out conditions, vehicle collisions and road closures on several Ontario highways Wednesday morning.

Multi-vehicle pile-up was reported
Multi-vehicle pile-up was reported

It was a tricky drive to work for many Ontario motorists Wednesday morning.

An intense, isolated streamer rolled in off of Georgian Bay, making for poor driving conditions in and around Wasaga Beach, Barrie and Innisfil.

At times, visibility was near zero. The treacherous conditions forced the Ontario Provincial Police to close Highway 400 southbound at Innisfil Beach Road due to a 20-vehicle collision.

“It's a very strange feeling when you're about to see an accident happen and then you see it happen. There was three vehicles on the left that collided and in our lane there was probably five or six,” recalls one motorist involved in the multi-vehicle crash on Highway 400 near Cookstown.

“Nobody could see anything,” said another driver involved. “At one point it was clear and then it was all white and all you could see were the little lights...And we were going slow, not too fast.”

No injuries were reported and the highway was later re-opened. Highway 400 northbound and southbound between Highway 88 and Mapleview Drive in Barrie was also closed due to poor visibility and collisions.

Police officials warn that conditions can change rapidly at this time of year and drivers should be prepared for a sudden onset of wintery weather at any moment.

A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada Wednesday morning stated that “very brief periods of heavy snow and blowing snow” could be expected. The threat of squalls ended by the early afternoon hours.

For more details on roads in your area, tune in to The Weather Network on TV. Your Highway conditions come up at :24 and :54 minutes past each hour.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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