The worst of the freezing rain is over, but it's still very icy on roads and sidewalks
Temperatures expected to hover around 0 C throughout the day
Freezing rain and rain that fell throughout the GTA on Wednesday evening and overnight Thursday has left many roads and sidewalks dangerously icy.
Precipitation is expected to continue throughout the morning, with some areas seeing rain and others getting a light dusting of flurries, according to Environment Canada.
The City of Toronto's winter operations said that salting began "on all road types" around 7:45 p.m. last night and continued throughout the early morning hours today. The department says it should be mostly completed by the early rush hour.
Salting operations on all road types commenced at approx 7:45pm Wednesday and have continue overnight. Will be complete prior to am rush hour. Salting on local roads will continue through the morning.—@TO_WinterOps
Further, salting on "high volume sidewalks" started around 1 a.m. and is set to continue through the morning or "until temperatures rise and ice melts."
Environment Canada says temperatures will hover around 0 C throughout the day. In Toronto, the chance of light flurries is forecast to persist until about 2 p.m. before a mix of sun and cloud sets in.
Salting operations on high volume sidewalks commenced at approx. 1am and have continue through the overnight period. Operations will continue through the morning or until temperatures rise & ice melts.—@TO_WinterOps
There's also a possibility of fairly strong winds of up to 50 km/h for most of the day.
Both the Durham public and Catholic boards have cancelled school bus services in zones one, two and three as a result of the icy conditions, though buses in zone four are still running. Schools all remain open.
Temperatures will get considerably colder during the early morning hours on Friday, dropping to around –8 C by the early commute, though it will feel more like –11. Environment Canada forecasts a high of 2 C by mid-afternoon on Friday.
Increase in fractures
According to Timothy Leroux, an orthopaedic surgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, the hospital has seen a noticeable increase in the number of patients coming in with broken bones, even when compared to previous winters.
"We're seeing a lot of fractures, fractures that are typical of falling from a standing height," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning.
Many of his patients describe falls on sidewalks.
"Outside for sure. Not so much on their own premises, but mostly on their way to work or coming from work or at night socializing," Leroux explained.
He says that the only way to prevent injuries from icy falls is to pay close attention to the ground beneath you when you're walking around the city.
Unfortunately, he added, if you do fall, there is really no good way to do it, despite persistent myths.
"Something in your body is going to take the brunt of that injury."