Winter conditions close multiple major highways and several weather alerts issued
Winter weather conditions Sunday night have closed several major highways in the northeastern Ontaeio region.
The 511 Ontario Twitter page has sent out multiple tweets throughout the evening Sunday alerting drivers to closed highways due to bad weather.
- Highway 17 from White River to Terrace Bay was closed shortly after 4 p.m.
- Highway 17 between Wawa and Terrace Bay was closed around 5:30 p.m.
- Highway 655 from Driftwood to Timmins was closed just after 8 p.m.
- Highway 17 from Batchawana to Terrace Bay was closed around 8:30 p.m.
- At 7:30 p.m. Highway 11 was closed from Hearst to Longlac, however, by 8:10 that closure expanded from Cochrane to Longlac
The Ontario Provincial Police are also issuing tweets about road closures.
- Highway 17 between Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie was closed shortly before 9 p.m.
- Highway 101 between Highway 11 and Highway 129 has also been shut down.
These highway closures come on top of several weather alerts that have been issued across the northeast region on Sunday.
Snow squalls in the Sault Ste. Marie area
Much of the northeast is getting blasted with more wintery weather Monday prompting Environment Canada to issue snow squall warnings from St. Joseph Island to Montreal River Harbour.
The snow squalls are expected to slowly weaken by Monday night.
"There is potential for local snowfall amounts of 15 cm or more per 12 hours in the strongest snow squalls, along with sudden near-zero visibility in bursts of heavy snow and blowing snow," Environment Canada's weather alert said on Monday morning.
The total snowfall could reach up to 30 centimetres in some areas by the end of the storm.
"Very strong northwesterly winds will also whip up freshly fallen snow and cause sudden near zero-visibility from blowing snow in exposed areas at times," the alert said.
It is recommended that motorists postpone non-essential travel until road conditions improve, as closures are possible.
Snowfall warnings in the Timmins area
About 15 centimetres of snow is expected to accumulate in the Timmins area with this most recent storm by Monday afternoon.
"In addition, strong and gusty northwesterly winds may cause occasional low visibility from blowing snow in exposed areas this morning," Environment Canada said. "The snow will taper off to scattered flurries this afternoon."
Communities included in the snowfall warning are Little Abitibi, Kesagami Lake, Timmins, Cochrane, and Iroquois Falls.
Many areas currently have a winter weather travel advisory in effect:
- Chapleau – Gogama
- Elliot Lake – Ranger Lake
- Geraldton – Manitouwadge – Hornepayne
- Kapuskasing – Hearst
- Kirkland Lake – Temiskaming Shores – Temagami
- Lake Nipigon – Wabakimi
- Wawa – White River – Pukaskwa
Officials with Environment Canada are warning of 5-10 cm of snow expected by Monday morning with even more possible in some areas.
Fort Severn is in a special weather statement with "near-zero visibilities" possible through Monday afternoon due to snow squalls.
Sault Ste. Marie – St. Joseph Island is also in a snow squall warning. Officials say that 15 cm of snow or more in a 12 hour period is possible. This warning was issued around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
There is also a wind warning in place for Sault Ste. Marie – St. Joseph Island. Officials say that northwest wind gusts near 100 km/h are expected.
Lastly, Timmins – Cochrane – Iroquois Falls has been in a snowfall warning since 4 p.m. on Sunday with 15 cm expected by Monday afternoon.
Highway 64 in Sturgeon Falls is down to one lane ater a hydro pole fire, the Ministry of Transportation said in a tweet Monday morning.