Ice storm has Toronto area bracing for power outages, risky driving conditions

Hugh Fox
April 15, 2018

Environment Canada says "a much more significant freezing rain event is looking increasingly likely for portions of Southern Ontario Saturday and Sunday as a slow-moving low pressure system approaches the area".

Environment Canada is warning residents that high winds, along with freezing wind and ice, will likely create risky driving conditions over the weekend.

"We've seen weather like this, I think the last time we had a freezing rain storm in April was in 2012 and we experienced trees down and power outages for about a day or two before we got that all fixed up". As the low gets closer, brisk northeasterly winds will pump in cold arctic air, forcing temperatures to fall to near or below the zero degree mark on Saturday.

Rain started Saturday morning then changed into freezing rain, with ice pellets and high wind making driving hard.

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The freezing rain could cause ice accumulations of up to 20 mm in some places.

Weather service forecasters say a half-inch of ice is possible today and Sunday, enough to break tree branches and bring down power lines. The greatest risk for heavy freezing rain will be along and north of I-96.

In the meantime, Peel Regional Police are asking drivers to stay off the road, if they don't need to travel, and to prepare this weekend for the potential of freezing rain, ice pellets, rain and snow.

Flooding may become a threat in some areas by Sunday evening.

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Rain will likely turn into freezing rain, which is expected to continue for a few hours into the evening.

A powerful low will move across the Great Lakes, whipping up strong winds and heavy rain for most of southern lower MI through the day Saturday.

People can report hydro outages by calling Alectra Utilities at 1-844-797-7920 in Brampton and 905-273-7425 in Mississauga.

Conditions may become a little slippery in Chatham-Kent this weekend.

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