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OPP urging motorists to stay off the roads tonight and tomorrow; Hydro One gearing up for fallout from ice, snow, wind

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region is urging motorists to be prepared for deteriorating driving conditions, starting tonight. The forecast calls for significant freezing rain for much of the region followed by snow.

“If you don’t have to go out on the highways tonight or tomorrow, we recommend you stay put until things improve”, said Acting Inspector Marc Hemmerick, East Region OPP Manager of Traffic and Marine Programs. “If you do have be out please go slow, give yourself extra time and leave lots of extra following distance.”

Follow these tips:

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

Please do not call 911 or other police phone lines to ask about road conditions. Those lines are needed for true emergency calls. To learn the latest on road conditions, visit the Ministry of Transportation’s Travel Information site 511on.ca. It’s filled with valuable resources. You can also follow @511ONEastern or @511Ontario.

Hydro One is gearing up to respond to a significant ice storm, heavy snow and high winds threatening most of Ontario. Freezing rain is expected to start in central and eastern Ontario this afternoon and continue into Monday. Ice accumulation on lines or other electrical equipment along with nearby tree limbs may cause damage resulting in power outages. While damage assessors along with lines and forestry crews are getting ready to respond, Hydro One is advising customers to be prepared for the potential of an extended outage.

“We have been tracking the incoming storm and are getting crews and equipment ready in the areas anticipated to be hardest hit,” said Darlene Bradley, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Hydro One. “While our crews and customer service agents get ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible, we urge everyone to be prepared with an emergency kit and the tools to access the most up-to-date outage information.”

Based on Hydro One’s outage prediction tool, the company is getting crews ready to assess damage in order to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. An estimated time of restoration will be determined for each outage once damage has been assessed. Our outage tools will be up-dated every 10 minutes as information comes in from crews on-the-ground.

Hydro One prioritizes emergencies and restoration to bring power back to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time.

Household preparedness

An emergency preparedness kit should include:

  • Water and food that won’t spoil for all family members, including pets
  • A manual can opener
  • Windup or battery-powered flashlight and radio
  • Batteries and extended battery chargers
  • Cash
  • First aid kit and medical items
  • Blankets
  • Emergency numbers including Hydro One’s power outage hotline, 1-800-434-1235
  • Fully charged cell-phone or have at least one corded phone at home; a cordless phone will not work in a power outage

Keep your emergency kit in a backpack and make sure everyone in your home knows where to find it.

Stay safe during a power outage

If the power system in your area is affected by bad weather, be sure to stay clear of any fallen power lines. If you spot a fallen line, keep at least 10 metres back, even if it does not appear to be live. Report it to the police and call Hydro One at 1-800-434-1235.

Tracking power outages

For outage information and updates, visit Hydro One’s outage map or download the free mobile app. Customers can also sign up in advance for text or email notifications. These free tools allow customers to check the status of power outages anywhere in Hydro One’s service area and receive helpful tips and news. Sign up at www.hydroone.com/outages.

Louise Sproule

Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!

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