Snowstorm causes flight delays, commuter chaos
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:39PM EST
A day-long snowstorm made for slippery streets, tortuous roads and some flight delays. However, the snow has now ended in the Toronto area, although Thursday morning could see a few flurries.
The Scarborough Rapid Transit line remains down as of 10:30 p.m., one of many snow-related problems for commuters and travellers on Wednesday.
An RT train got stuck in the snow, leaving the service unavailable between McCowan and Kennedy stations. Shuttle buses were being used to move people.
On the 400-series highways and the northbound DVP, traffic moved slowly during the afternoon rush hour.
"It's slushy, icy, dicey ... whatever you want to use," Sgt. Tim Burrows of the Toronto Police Service's traffic division told ctvtoronto.ca late Wednesday afternoon.
It's very much an above-average day for collisions, but the saving grace is that no serious injuries are resulting because they're all occurring at relatively low speeds, he said.
"Drivers just aren't adjusting to conditions and slowing down," Burrows said.
Environment Canada had predicted that between 15 and 20 cm of snow will fall on the Golden Horseshoe throughout the day, as a low-pressure system made it way up from the United States.
Toronto received about 15 cm of snow. The snow ended in Toronto shortly after suppertime (it has already ended in Windsor) but continued to move eastward. The snow should be finished falling in eastern Ontario by midnight.
The weather resulted in the cancellation of some night classes, including Sheridan, Centennial, Humber and Seneca Colleges, to name a few.
The snow may be related to at least one medical emergency. An 81-year-old man collapsed while brushing snow off his car at 225 Harrygan Cres. Paramedics rushed him to York Central Hospital, but his condition isn't known.
Over at Pearson International Airport, about 200 flights were cancelled or delayed as a result of the storm. Most of the affected flights were heading to Montreal, Ottawa or northeastern cities in the U.S.
Several travellers missed their flight because they were late arriving to the airport as a result of the treacherous road conditions.
The Pattison family of Hillsdale, north of Barrie, missed their flight to Florida because of weather-related traffic delays.
"We were supposed to go for our vacation until Sunday, because that's when I go back to school. But I don't know now," Carly Pattison told CTV Toronto.
Jay Pattison said that as a pilot himself, he knows all about weather delays. "I think maybe they should postpone their cutoff time for boarding the flight based on delays," he said.
Most cancellations were for flights to Montreal, Ottawa or the U.S. northeast.
Scott Armstrong, a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said the morning rush went smoothly.
"Full snow clearing and deicing crews are working and we'll keep things running as smoothly as possible," he told CTV.ca.
Passengers are being warned to call ahead to make sure their flight is on schedule.
With reports from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney, James MacDonald and John Musselman