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Squalls create road havoc in Ontario


Snow squalls help to deteriorate road conditions. Click on the car to see more videos of Saturday's squalls.
Snow squalls help to deteriorate road conditions. Click on the car to see more videos of Saturday's squalls.

Alexandra Pope and Jill Colton, staff writers

February 13, 2011 — Snow squalls rolling off the Great Lakes continued to cause problems for Ontario motorists Saturday.

Whiteout conditions caused numerous accidents near London Saturday
Whiteout conditions caused numerous accidents near London Saturday

Rolling squalls helped compromise driving conditions throughout southern and central Ontario on Saturday.

Heavy squalls packing strong winds created whiteout conditions along Highway 401 from London to Cambridge. At least seven cars were involved in a pileup on an icy section of the 401 eastbound near Cambridge during the morning hours.

Some provincial highways and roads were closed across the region including Grey County to Brant County after a major dumping of snow.

Police reported several vehicles landing in ditches and sliding off county road and major highways like the 401, 402 and 403 because of the icy conditions.A transport truck crashed into a vehicle on the westbound lanes of the 401 near Sweaburg Road, southwest of Woodstock. No injuries were reported.

However, another crash ended in tragedy. It was snowing and visibility was poor in Hamilton when a car and a snowplow collided on Centennial Parkway early Saturday morning, killing one person.

Be careful when driving as heavy snow is on the way.
Be careful when driving as heavy snow is on the way.

Earlier this week, driving conditions were just as treacherous. Officials closed Highway 21 between Port Elgin and Goderich because of poor visibility.

Patrick Cool, another meteorologist at The Weather Network, says cold temperatures are a factor in the recent squall activity. “The lakes are the warmest during the snow season. If you combine this with cold air, the difference is so vast, the end result is memorable squalls.”

Sunday will see a second Alberta clipper sweep the province.

“The southwesterly flow will help boost temperatures for the region,” explains one of The Weather Network's meteorologists, Dayna Vettese.

With the system, light snow will be spread along the Lower Great Lakes Region. The humidity may create mixing, which could result in slippery roads. Motorists are urged to check highway conditions before venturing outside.

Central and eastern Ontario residents will have to contend with a heavier snowfall. Places like Sudbury and Ottawa can expect between 15-20 cm. Visibility may be compromised if you're travelling.

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