By: Kyle James | 04-16-2018 | News
Photo credit: Sonny Subra/Cole Burston

Canada - Toronto Area Sees 550 Crashes Due To Freezing Rain, Ice Storm

Torrents of freezing rain, snow and hail have been afflicting the Greater Toronto Area and the extreme weather has already caused 550 crashes. The sleek conditions have caused pile-ups, single-vehicle collisions, cars flipping over, and going into concrete walls and ditches. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police's Highway Safety Division said the conditions are responsible for several vehicles sliding out of control and even going the wrong way in the hazy weather.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Did you see this video… friend sent it to me <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onstorm</a> car into the house. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TORONTO</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Sonny Subra (@SonnySubra) <a href="">April 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">PHOTOS: <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IceStorm2018</a> damage in Ontario, tens of thousands without power: <a href=""></a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ONstorm</a> 📷: Sonny Subra <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) <a href="">April 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Sgt. Schmidt said, "We have problems all over the place. Don't drive if you don't have to. It's windy, it's wet, it's cold, it's miserable. All of that altogether, and we got crashes all across the GTA." Schmidt urged drivers to stay off the roads and tweeted that the OPP was currently responding to around 50 accidents. To battle the freezing road conditions, the City of Toronto sent out nearly 80 salting trucks to help clear the snowy roadways.

Meteorologist Colette Kennedy said a slow-moving low-pressure system is being combined with gusty northeasterly winds to create the blast of winter weather. Areas north and west of Toronto have even experienced snow. "We can expect a mix of all types of precipitation coming through the GTA and much of southern Ontario, frankly," Kennedy said. "It's changing every minute."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">PHOTOS: Thousands without power, flight cancellations and multiple crashes reported amid ice storm in southern Ontario. See them here: <a href=""></a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ONstorm</a> 📷: <a href="">@SonnySubra</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) <a href="">April 14, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Residents are advised to safe during the storm and power outages are likely as winds are expected to reach gusts between 70 and 80 kilometers per hour. The risk of trees laden with ice falling on power lines is high and roads are expected to be "dangerous" due to the icy conditions and debris from the storm.

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James Kilgour, the director of Toronto's office of emergency management said, "Your safety is paramount. Do not approach that. Call 311, 311 will then be able to triage it and put the appropriate parties there to attend to that situation." A spokesperson for Toronto Hydro named Tori Gass called the storm an "all-hands on deck situation" involving 30 crews.

"We are ready to respond, and we will be working to tackle the restoration as soon as possible, but these are some dangerous conditions," Gass said. "With freezing rain like this, there may be some delays if our crews can't go out because of safety reasons, but we will be doing everything possible to get the power back should we have outages."

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