Provincial police are reminding people to stay off the roads if they can as a treacherous winter storm takes over southern Ontario on Friday
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said road and weather conditions are continuing to deteriorate and police have received reports of up to 100 vehicles involved in multiple collisions in the southwestern part of the province.
A stretch of Highway 401 has been shut down in both directions between London and Tilbury. A section of Highway 402 is currently closed between Colonel Talbot Road and the 401.
“That system is all coming towards the GTA,” Schmidt says, adding police are starting to see more collisions in the Cambridge area.
“If you don’t need to be on the roads, stay home until the system passes. The best place is off the highways.”
Schmidt advises motorists give each other plenty of space between other vehicles.
#OnStorm Road and weather conditions continue to deteriorate, Multiple collisions across the GTA, highway closures in southwestern on #Hwy401/402 due to collisions. Please stay home if you can. pic.twitter.com/ob0aNDLDgc— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) December 23, 2022
Winter storm warnings blanket most of southern Ontario with Environment Canada cautioning travel will be “hazardous” due to snow, damaging winds and extreme cold temperatures moving in on Friday.
“Travel will become dangerous and is not advised,” said Environment Canada.
Road clearing crews in the City of Toronto are on standby, strategically placed around the city and ready to roll into service as soon as snow begins accumulate. Crews will begin by salting roadways with hopes of limiting the impact of an expected flash freeze when temperatures quickly fall.
John Tory has warned that the cleanup from the storm could take several days due to the rain and wind that is expected to accompany the snow and ice.
Hydro One, Ontario’s largest electricity utility, said crews had already responded to “significant” power outages Friday morning as high winds hit regions across the province.
School boards across southern Ontario have cancelled classes due to the storm and WestJet is cancelling all flights in and out of Pearson Airport on Friday.