Winter storm chaos starts to ease

A freezing rain warning has been lifted for Thunder Bay and area, but Environment Canada says the city could receive five to 10 cm of snow and ice pellets. As of late Tuesday afternoon, winter storm and snowfall warnings were still in effect in some areas east and west of the city.

Storm drops record-setting 50 cm of snow on Sioux Lookout

Snowplows made their way along Fort William Road in Thunder Bay on Tuesday morning, as periods of snow mixed with freezing rain and ice pellets continued in a swath extending from the northwest shores of Lake Superior to areas south of James Bay. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

A freezing rain warning has been lifted for Thunder Bay and area, but Environment Canada says the city could receive five to 10 cm of snow and ice pellets.  As of late Tuesday afternoon, winter storm and snowfall warnings were still in effect in some areas east and west of the city.

The town of Sioux Lookout was digging out from more than 50 cm of snow. Environment Canada reported that is an all-time single day record for that community. The municipality's communication manager, Brian MacKinnon, said crews worked though the night to keep main streets passable.

In Thunder Bay, traffic sergeant Glenn Porter said city crews were doing an effective job dealing with ice on the roads.

Environment Canada said more than 50 cm of snow dropped on Sioux Lookout, breaking the community's single-day snowfall record. (Supplied: Brian MacKinnon)

"They're definitely icy, but the road salt is working. I'm noticing that the intersections are starting to get a little bit better," he said.

Thunder Bay roads division manager Brad Adams said city crews had been clearing streets since 2 a.m., plowing and adding sand or salt.

Crews have been re-plowing the main streets. About 14 road sanders were deployed Tuesday morning, along with 13 sidewalk plows with sanders.

Thunder Bay city crews kept roads and sidewalks scraped down on Tuesday as a storm tracked through the region. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

Porter added people need to allow for extra time for tasks they normally don't have to do, just to get out of the driveway in their vehicles.

"People gotta remember that they have to give themselves a little bit extra time to clean those windows off.  When I came out to my car this morning it was really an ice turtle."

Porter said it took him about 10 minutes to clear the thick coating of ice off his car windows.

Buses cancelled, schools closed

Environment Canada warned travellers to change their plans as a mix of snow, rain and freezing rain made for slippery conditions.

Many streets in Thunder Bay were covered in slush on Tuesday.

The OPP and the Ministry of Transportation reported multiple highway closures across northwestern Ontario that lasted well into Tuesday. By late afternoon, most of those highways had re-opened. 

Dryden was covered in snow on Monday night. The city reported that crews were keeping main streets clear on Tuesday, but were still working on smaller residential streets. (Supplied: Dave Migliazza)

Rural schools in the Lakehead public board jurisdiction were closed, and all rural school bus routes in Thunder Bay were also shut down.

Thunder Bay Christian School was closed.

For students in the Keewatin-Patricia School Board and the Kenora Catholic board, it was declared an official snow day. 

Municipal daycare centres in Sioux Lookout were also closed. 

Buses were also cancelled for Superior-Greenstone district school board students in Nipigon, Red Rock, Dorion, Hurkett and Lake Helen. The schools remained open, however.

All Northwestern Health Unit offices were closed. According to a news release issued Tuesday morning, patients who had an appointment scheduled on Tuesday will be contacted on Wednesday. 


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