Constant storms slow life to a crawl
More squalls, more high winds, more roads closed.
It’s been another brutal winter day. And in some parts of our region, the storms have slowed everyday life to a crawl.
Sunshine was the rule across most of our region, but it was still another day of hazardous winter driving conditions as wind gusts up to 50 kilometres per hour whipped up snow. County Road 124 north of Shelburne was closed again because of blowing and drifting snow. Daniel Dresar never knows what to expect, so he tries to be prepared.
“You have to be prepared for the next day – get groceries when you can, make sure your truck has gas in it, and you are ready for the next day, because it could change in an instant like it is now,” says Dresar.
Police set up road blocks and closed Highway 93 north of Wyevale for most of the day. Simcoe County Road 6 north of Elmvale was also closed, along with multiple roads in Grey County and parts of Highway 400 at times as police responded to multiple crashes and bad conditions.
The combination of high snowbanks, fresh snow, and strong westerly winds created zero visibility. OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell says that’s why it's so important for drivers to stay off closed roads.
“Our biggest problem is we are setting up road barricades and people are driving past them,” he says. “When we are investigating accidents today we are getting surprised by people coming out of the whiteouts clearly being in a place they shouldn't be in, driving on a closed road.”
Further north a snow squall brought traffic to a stand-still on Highway 400. The highway was closed for several hours because of poor conditions near Lake Joseph Road.
Tommy McDonald says it's been stressful driving back and forth between Midland and Barrie lately and white-outs demand your full attention.
“Just watch the road and watch the other guy because they are coming out of everywhere,” the Midland resident says.
Driving in the dark through a white-out can be even worse than driving through blowing snow during daylight hours and this wind is expected to persist for another 24 hours.