Simcoe County and surrounding areas remain under freezing rain and rainfall warnings on Sunday evening.

Heavy equipment went to work clearing parking lots this morning and snow blowers came back out of storage as the spring storm continued its track across Simcoe, Muskoka, Grey and Dufferin counties.

“We had a bad one last year, but it was earlier. This year, it has surprised everybody,” said snow plow operator Dale Curry.

Maintenance crews, along with tow truck drivers, have been busy on the roads this weekend. The OPP says its communication centre in Orillia received 447 reports of collisions today. On Saturday, it received more than 500 reports of crashes. None of them have been fatal.

Area highways have been covered in a thick layer of slush and ice. Police have been urging drivers to stay off the roads, and to adjust their speeds if they have no choice but to go out.

The city of Barrie’s director of roads, parks and fleet, Dave Friary, says the city has taken an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to the storm.

“We’ve had about 28 snow plows, 15 sanders and about 20 sidewalk machines out this weekend and they’ll continue to be out until the storm subsides, and then hopefully we can get into spring sweeping,” Friary said on Sunday.

City officials are asking people to help them out by refraining from parking their vehicles on city roads, as they slow down the maintenance process for crews.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada freezing rain and rainfall warnings remain in effect. The weather service says freezing rain will continue through the afternoon and evening, before switching to rain tonight.

A freezing rain warning has been issued for:

-          Barrie - Collingwood – Hillsdale

-          Midland - Coldwater - Orr Lake

-          Orillia - Lagoon City – Washago

-          Innisfil - New Tecumseth – Angus

-          Shelburne - Mansfield - Northern Dufferin County

-          Lindsay - Southern Kawartha Lakes

-          Peterborough City - Lakefield - Southern Peterborough County

-          Bayfield Inlet – Dunchurch

-          South River - Burk's Falls

-          Bruce Peninsula - Sauble Beach – Tobermory

-          Hanover - Dundalk - Southern Grey County

-          Owen Sound - Blue Mountains - Northern Grey County

-          Saugeen Shores - Kincardine - Southern Bruce County

-          Haliburton - Minden - Southern Haliburton County

-          Oxtongue Lake - Fort Irwin - Northern Haliburton County

-          Bracebridge - Gravenhurst

-          Port Carling - Port Severn

-          Huntsville - Baysville

-          Town of Parry Sound - Rosseau - Killbear Park

-          Vaughan - Richmond Hill – Markham

-          Newmarket - Georgina - Northern York Region

-          Pickering - Oshawa - Southern Durham Region

-          Uxbridge - Beaverton - Northern Durham Region

Environment Canada warns that flooding could become a problem by Sunday evening, as freezing rain transitions to rain.

The system is expected to move out of the region by Monday night.

Power outages expected

Electrical utilities are concerned that a build-up of ice on hydro lines, combined with high winds might cause widespread power interruptions.

“In the event of that, we have a lot our crews on standby,” says Rachel Bertone, an Alectra spokesperson. “We can re- assign crews based the area that is heavily hit.”

If you’re an Alectra customers, you can click here for updated information on power outages, or here if you’re a Hydro One customer.