More mixed precipitation fell overnight in Ottawa
Weather system expected to move out of Ottawa area by about 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. Saturday
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Ice pellets, snow and rain continued to fall in the Ottawa-Gatineau region through the night Friday as an April storm moved across the province.
CBC Ottawa's Teri Loretto said about 6 cm of mixed precipitation had already fallen as of 1:30 p.m. ET Friday as the winter storm warning continued for eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
By 6 p.m., Environment Canada logged 3 cm of snow and 7 millimetres of rain at the Ottawa airport. Data also showed 4 mm of freezing rain, including ice pellets, had fallen by 3:30 p.m. (the latest available data at 6 p.m.).
More mixed precipitation was forecast overnight, with the temperature hovering around zero. The weather agency warned that high winds overnight, sometimes gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour, could cause power outages.
The storm is expected to pass out of the area entirely by about 5 or 6 a.m. Saturday, Loretto said. A high of 7 C is expected Saturday, along with a 60-per-cent chance of rain.
Dozens of crashes logged in Ottawa
The morning commute led to numerous collisions on both sides of the river, including one crash involving an OC Transpo double-decker bus in Ottawa.
The bus was heading south on Woodroffe Avenue when it hit heavy slush and crashed between West Hunt Club and Slack roads between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to resident Neal Kushwaha. Power was then knocked out for a few thousand customers, according to Hydro Ottawa, but was restored about an hour later.
"It was a flash of light that looked like lightning. It caught my eye and I saw this bus sliding into the ditch and this pole landing on the bus," said Kushwaha, who saw the crash happen in his rearview mirror as he was driving by.
Kushwaha also said traffic lights on Hunt Club near Merivale Road and Woodroffe Avenue were out due to the crash. A nearby Via Rail train to Toronto was also stalled due to the power outage, one person tweeted.
By 5:45 p.m. ET Ottawa police reported 55 collisions on local roads since midnight, while Gatineau police reported only a few crashes.
School buses cancelled
Police said there were no injuries as a result of the crash and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 told CBC News only the driver was aboard.
All school buses were also cancelled Friday for eastern Ontario school boards, French and English. Schools remained open, however.
The website for the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority was delayed Friday morning, reporting school buses were running, but officials said that was false. The website is back up and running.
A few flight departures at the Ottawa airport were cancelled Friday. People were advised to check the airport website before heading out to catch a flight.
Air Canada also issued a weather alert for five cities, including Ottawa, warning about possible delays and cancellations.
City crews had to haul out all of their snow-clearing equipment ahead of the storm, a process that takes days. Street sweepers had been out in force cleaning roads recently, so the city used salt instead of dirty grit to make roads safe during Friday's storm.
The city's annual snow budget, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, is $56 million per year. So far this year — ahead of Friday's storm — the city has used $48 million, or about 86 per cent.
Auto repair and tire shops also reported some customers cancelled scheduled plans to have their snow tires removed.