OPP issues travel advisory amidst snowfall warning

Photo by Christine Makhlouf.

With another weekend of heavy snow expected for Saturday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region is advising residents refrain from unnecessary travel.

At the same time, Environment Canada issued a Snowfall Warning for Kingston and the area on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 as of 3:22 p.m. That warning is in effect for the Kingston, Odessa, Frontenac Islands, Napanee, Consecon, Picton, and Sandbanks Park areas, and advises that snowfall with total amounts of 15 to 25 cm is expected, with significant snowfall expected for Saturday.

“Snow is expected to move into the area on Saturday morning as a low pressure system approaches. Snow will be heavy at times Saturday afternoon and evening. The snow will taper off to flurries Sunday morning,” Environment Canada said.

“Southeasterly winds gusting up to 50 km/h will create areas of blowing snow giving reduced visibilities, particularly Saturday afternoon. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.”

Because of this, the OPP are urging drivers to plan ahead, as driving conditions will be affected by the accumulation of snow.

“Do you need to travel? Are you prepared to stay in your car for an extended period of time if you are stranded?” the OPP said in a press release on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.

While the OPP are advising motorist to stay off the roads if possible, they offer the following suggestions for those who do have to travel on Saturday:

  • Check 511on.ca for road conditions and road closures before you go.
  • Slow down, leave extra space, and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
  • Full lighting system on!
  • Clear snow from your whole vehicle, including and head and tail lights. Do a circle check of your vehicle whenever you stop.
  • 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.

“Winter driving can be challenging at the best of times,” said Acting Inspector Marc Hemmerick, East Region OPP Manager of Traffic and Marine Programs. “The OPP is asking motorists to do their part in helping to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads.”

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

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