Storm-battered communities at standstill as major roads close
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:07PM EST
Police were forced to shut down hundreds of roads today because of the snow and bad conditions.
Roads from Lake Huron, across to southern Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, and north to Parry Sound were all closed today because of the snowy conditions.
In many communities, snow plows were pulled off the roads because visibility was so poor.
On Highway 93 in Midland, police and tow trucks cleared a crash that happened in a whiteout. Reports indicate visibility was down to zero on the highways and even in town.
Kim Tower lives in Tiny Township and says it’s frightening to be on the road when she can't see a thing.
“It's a horrible feeling, it's like panic in a sense because you don't know,” Tower said. “You can't see in front of you, so obviously the cars coming at you can't see you, you don't know where you are of the roads sometimes.”
Police responded to dozens of crashes including one that happened on Highway 12 on the outskirts of Midland.
In this accident police say a pedestrian was hit by a car.
The pedestrian was taken to Georgian Bay General Hospital and then transferred to another hospital in Toronto in serious condition.
Weather conditions worsened throughout the day and police had no choice but to close more highways leaving very few options for travellers to get out of the Midland area.
Many of the back roads were also impassable.
Highway 400 north of Waubashene, Hwy. 12, and Hwy. 93 were shut down because of the blizzard conditions.
Simcoe County snow plows were called off this afternoon in this area, and many businesses closed their doors early allowing staff to get home.
All roads were closed in Grey County as well.
Leslie Lebarr decided to stay home after seeing how bad conditions were.
“I pulled out of the parking lot which is about two blocks from here and I couldn't see anything so I decided that I'm not going to drive,” Lebarr said. “[I’m] just trying to decide if I should get a hotel room or find somebody who lives around here.”
Colin Chadband was working in the area today but realized he may not make it back to Toronto tonight.
“We ran into a lot of closures, road closures so we are stuck at Tim Horton’s trying to get out of Midland and it really windy,” Chadband said.
Some municipalities have started to remove road closure barricades because people are driving into them in white outs.
Midland Police say residents should now consider all roads in the area closed because of the poor visibility and that nobody should be going anywhere. Some snow plows are operating within Midland but only so police and paramedic can get through in case of life threatening emergency.