OPP issues travel advisory ahead of coming weekend storm

Photo by Alvin Engler.

The East Region of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has issued a statement advising citizens to be prepared for the coming winter storm forecasted to hit Kingston and the area this weekend.

According to Environment Canada, residents should be prepared for a little bit of everything as “a soaker is on tap Saturday” and “freezing rain possible for Saturday night,” as well as “very strong southwest winds Sunday.”

“Occasional light rain or drizzle is expected today and tonight. However, rain will be more continuous and heavy at times Saturday into Sunday morning,” Environment Canada said in a special weather statement on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.

“Total rainfall amounts of 25 to 50 mm are possible with most of the rain falling Saturday into Saturday night. For areas further away from Lake Ontario, rain is likely to change to freezing rain by Saturday evening and may last for several hours.”

The national weather agency said strong southwest winds are also expected Sunday morning, especially along the Lake Ontario shoreline where winds may gust up to 90 km/h, and that travel will be impacted throughout southern Ontario Saturday into Sunday.

In light of this forecast, the OPP is recommending “drivers be prepared for anything,” noting that rain, freezing rain and snow, combined with dropping temperatures, will mean that driving conditions could be hazardous at times.

“People should think about changing plans if they can,” said Acting Inspector Marc Hemmerick, East Region OPP Manager of Traffic and Marine Programs. “Everyone has a role to play in traffic safety and part of that is knowing when to stay off the road.”

For drivers that do have to head out on the roads, the OPP offers the following tips:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel or wait until conditions improve
  • Adjust your driving: Slow down, extra space, no sudden lane changes
  • Full lighting system on
  • Clear ice from all windows and lights. You may have to do this multiple times during a trip.
  • Ensure your fuel tank is full and have an emergency travel kit (food, blanket, candle, extra cellphone power) in case you are stranded or stuck

Please exercise caution when driving over the weekend, and check in on friends and neighbours should weather conditions pose cause for concern.

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this weather situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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