Use caution on roads as storm tapers off, police urge
Environment Canada ended its storm warning for Hamilton Thursday evening, but drivers should be wary of treacherous road conditions even as the snow tapers off.
"Basically, we are encouraging drivers to get off the highways," said Const. Linda Wolf, a spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police.
"There are snowdrifts and snow-covered ramps that are making it difficult for people to get off the ramps."
She said police have received scores of reports of single-vehicle collisions that have taken place throughout the day.
"I don't have any incidents of serious nature," Wolf told CBC Hamilton Friday afternoon.
Across Ontario, police received reports of more than 350 accidents on the roads. The Canadian Automobile Association said it had received over 4,500 calls for service.
Environment Canada is warning commuters of continued hazardous travelling conditions due to near-zero visibility, and heavy and blowing snow. Its forecast warned of winds gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour and drifting snow through the night Friday,
"People think because they have snow tires or four-wheel drive, nothing can happen to them," Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Woodford said. "If you have to be out, slow down. If you don’t have to be out anywhere, don’t go on the roads."
The inclement weather has also caused inconveniences for GO Transit users. The service has gone to an adjusted winter storm schedule.
It cancelled its Hamilton-Union Express bus service on Friday. Buses were running to and from Aldershot Station to connect customers with the Lakeshore West train line.
GO Transit is advising its customers to leave extra time for travelling and to check its website for service updates. It is warning that customers may experience delays on its bus and train systems.
And if you choose not drive, make sure you don't park your car on a designated snow removal route. On Friday afternoon, the city declared a snow emergency, prohibiting vehicles to park on those streets.
Cars that are still on the snow routes after 6:32 p.m. may be ticketed and towed.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled not only due to the storm hitting Ontario, but because of poor weather conditions from Chicago to Quebec City. More than 800 flights were cancelled Friday at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Travellers at airports across Canada are being advised to call airlines ahead of time to check if flights have been cancelled or delayed.
In the U.S., New York's LaGuardia, Newark's Liberty, Boston's Logan and Chicago's O’Hare are among the most affected airports, with more than 3,700 flights cancelled in the U.S.