Commuter chaos as snow, freezing rain combine
Published Monday, January 28, 2013 7:32AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 1:38PM EST
Freezing rain warnings remain in effect for a swath of South Central Ontario, stretching from southern Georgian Bay to the eastern shores of Lake Ontario.
In its latest warning issued after midday Monday, Environment Canada said a warming front is continuing to push northeastward, bringing nearly 10 centimetres of snow and between 2 to 4 mm of freezing rain with it.
The agency's forecast now calls for the precipitation to ease across southern parts of the province by Monday night, but the relief may be short-lived.
"It is very likely that an approaching low pressure system from Colorado will bring in another surge of moisture for freezing rain to redevelop (over Eastern Ontario Tuesday),” Environment Canada said.
And while warnings continue for areas surrounding Toronto continue, the advisory has already been dropped for the city itself.
The development comes too late for commuters frustrated by the slippery conditions, however, after the Monday morning commute was beset by a rash of collisions.
In the midst of his busy morning's work, one tow truck operator told CTV Toronto that chaos on the roads had made for some "crazy" conditions.
"It's just accident after accident, one after another. It hasn't stopped all morning," the driver identified only as Barry said.
Indeed, in a 6-hour span Monday morning, the OPP Twitter feed was a constant stream of more than 100 posts about separate accidents on roads and highways throughout the GTA and surrounding regions.
And where traffic wasn't stopped by collisions, drivers were crawling along on the icy, snow-covered roads.
"Numerous collisions reported," Sgt. Dave Woodford tweeted. "Mostly single vehicles into guard rails or ditches SLOW DOWN".
The CAA reported close to 2,000 calls for its emergency roadside assistance services throughout the morning, with wait times of up to 60 minutes as a result.
The conditions also compelled several school boards across the GTA and surrounding regions to cancel their school bus service. Details of what services were affected can be found here.
And drivers weren't the only ones affected, as approximately 200 flights out of Pearson International Airport were either cancelled or delayed.
Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines are still advising ticket-holders to call ahead before heading to the airport.
With files from CTV's Janice Golding