'Historic ice storm' to hit Waterloo region, Guelph, Wellington County

Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County are expected to be hit by a "historic ice storm" this weekend, Environment Canada warns.

Up to 25 mm of ice is expected to build up by Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada warns

Road conditions began to deteriorate Saturday afternoon and police warned people to stay off the roads. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Icy weather moved into Waterloo region Saturday afternoon, with freezing rain and ice pellets causing slippery conditions on area roads and sidewalks.

Waterloo Regional Police were warning drivers to stay off the roads as a number of collisions were being reported by early afternoon.

It comes as Environment Canada warns a "potentially historic ice storm" could hit Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County this weekend.

Ice pellets stick to the hood of a car in a parking lot of a Guelph grocery store Saturday afternoon. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The federal weather agency issued a freezing rain warning for the area early Saturday, calling for up to 25 millimetres of ice to build up by Sunday afternoon. 

"The combination of excessive ice accumulations and strong winds may result in widespread power outages due to fallen trees and power lines," the warning reads. 

Freezing rain mixed with ice pellets is hitting Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Wellington County. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The temperature is expected to dip to –2 C by Saturday afternoon and turn the freezing rain into ice pellets. Between two to four centimetres of ice pellets are expected to fall at that time. 

A low of –3 C in the forecast for the evening, with wind gusting to 70 kilometres an hour. 

The weather forced a number of cancellations.

Exams were cancelled and campus was closed at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo and University of Guelph. Conestoga College was also closed.

As well, a number of businesses closed early and some recreation facilities were also planning to close due to the weather.

The Grand River Conservation Authority also closed all parks and trails and warned recreational users to stay away from river banks and waterways.