Canada

Blizzard that walloped Ont., Que., heads to Eastern Canada

A massive blizzard that slammed into Ontario and Quebec, dumping mounds of snow, disrupting air travel and causing treacherous driving conditions, was expected to hit the Atlantic provinces next.

A massive blizzard that slammed into Ontario and Quebec, dumping mounds of snow, disrupting air travel and causing treacherous driving conditions, was expected to hit the Atlantic provinces next.

"It's going to have the Maritimes in its grips for most of tomorrow [Monday] and tomorrow evening into Newfoundland,"Environment Canada's senior climatologist, Dave Phillips, told the Canadian Press.
Side streets in Toronto were clogged with snow. ((Robin Rowland/CBC))

"When it finally just blows away up there in Newfoundland and out in the North [Atlantic] it will have created a lot of misery," he said.

Thestormleft up to 30 centimetres of snow in parts of Ontario and 60centimetres in some parts of Quebec.

Snow started to fallon theEast Coastlate Sunday. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Islandwere expected to be pummelledwith heavy snow and 90 kilometre-an-hour winds.

Numerous cancellations were already reported at Halifax International Airport.

The storm, packing high winds, first hitsouthern Ontario late Saturday,unleashingheavy snow and ice pellets from Windsor, Ont., all the way to Ottawa. It then moved eastward on Sunday.

At leastone person has been reported killed in the wake of the crippling storm.A woman died near London, Ont., when her vehicle was struck by a snowplow while she stood outside of it, the Ontario Provincial Police reported.

Poor visibility and whiteouts caused hazardous road conditions. The OPP reported about 400 collisions, most of them minor accidents.

Officials at Toronto's Pearson International Airport had to cancel or delay 185 arriving flights and 80 departing flights on Sunday, after cancelling about 30 flights on Saturday night.

An uncleared street in east in Toronto early Sunday afternoon. ((Robin Rowland/CBC))

VIA Rail said all trains were operating normally in Ontario and Quebec on Sunday. However,some were experiencing delays of about 30 minutes.

Ottawa was hit with 31centimetresof snowfall, surpassingits one-day record of 30centimetresset in 1977, and forcing the cancellation ofabout 80 flights. But Environment Canada meteorologist Rene Heroux said the capital could be blanketed by as much as 40 centimetres by the end of the snowfall.

Storm batters Montreal

Several flights in and out of Montreal were alsodelayed or cancelled because the storm, which was expected to dump40 centimetres on the city.

Highway 40 near Repentigny, Que., was ice-covered. Most other roads in the province were snow-covered.

Transport Quebec's Bruno Lacombe said several people had driven off the highways because of the snowy conditions.

He recommended that people stay off the highways unless absolutely necessary.

Ice pellets, thunder and zero visibility

The fierce wintry storm featured a mix of blowing snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and even thunder.

A pedestrian walks through the snow along St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto on Sunday morning. ((Peter McCluskey/CBC))

Police were warning motorists to use common sense and take their time on the roads.

In some areas of Ontario and Quebec, blowing snow and winds gusting to 70 kilometres an hour were causing whiteout conditions. There were reports of freezing rain and almost zero visibility.

With files from the Canadian Press

now