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Dozens of crashes reported as freezing rain, snow hits the GTA and Niagara

Last Updated Dec 2, 2019 at 12:01 am EST

Dozens of accidents were reported as a big blast of winter weather hit southern and central Ontario on Sunday.

Const. David Hopkinson said officers were sent to 376 collisions and 38 were referred to collision reporting centers.

Twelve vehicles were involved in a crash at Davenport and Avenue roads around 10:30 a.m. No injuries were reported. Police say the road conditions were “treacherous” and “icy” at the time and that salt trucks have been deployed to the area.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a fatal crash forced the closure of the Fort Erie bound QEW at Jordan Road. Freezing rain had been reported in the area. Several vehicles were involved in the crash and a 24-year-old woman from St. Catharines was was pronounced dead at the scene.

Schmidt said the woman was behind the wheel of her SUV when it collided with a transport truck and the woman was ejected from the vehicle.

“I’m not sure which vehicle lost control first,” he said adding that the crash caused a diesel spill on the highway.

“A third vehicle also came into that scene and collided with the vehicles or the debris and travelled some distance up the road before coming to a stop.”

Schmidt said multiple collisions were also reported in the Burlington, Cambridge and GTA region due to road conditions.

A winter weather travel advisory is still in effect by Environment Canada for Toronto and the GTA.

A messy mix of wintry weather started early Sunday morning, bringing with it several hours of freezing rain or ice pellets before transitioning to snow or freezing drizzle in the afternoon. Light snow is then expected to continue through Sunday night, replaced with overnight flurries before tapering off Monday morning.

“Strong wind gusts up to 70 km/h and local blowing snow reducing visibilities are also possible,” said the national weather service. “There is the potential that some areas could see total snowfall or ice pellet amounts of 5 to 10 cm by Monday morning.”

A freezing rain warning was issued Sunday morning for parts of the GTHA including Brampton, Mississauga and Hamilton, as well as the Niagara area.

“Several millimeters of ice accretion are possible over these regions with some areas possibly receiving 5 to 10 cm of snow and ice pellets in addition to the freezing rain,” warned Environment Canada.

A snowfall warning is in place for York-Durham Region.

Adding to the difficulties will be wind gusts of up to 70 km/h which, coupled with the ice accretion on tree branches and power lines, could cause power outages in the area.

Both the City of Toronto and Vaughan tweeted out that they were preparing the roads for the winter weather.

Pearson Airport is advising travellers to check the status of their flights before heading to airports as delays and cancellations are possible with the weather.

Meanwhile parts of eastern Ontario are under a snowfall warning with as much as 15 cm of snow expected. Strong winds of up to 60 km/h could lead to blowing snow and reduced visibility, making travel on roads hazardous at times.