UPDATE | More than 200 crashes as ice storm hits southern Ontario
Southern Niagara is being pounded by an ice storm.
Most of the southern part of the province, including Niagara, remains under a freezing rain warning. In Northern Niagara including St. Catharines, a wind warning is also in effect. Officials with Environment Canada warn winds will kick up to 90 km/h tonight and into Sunday morning. Gusts up to 100 km/h are possible as well. The winds should start to calm on Sunday morning.
Although much of Niagara was spared from the first wave of ice hitting Ontario, OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt reports the GTA was not so lucky. He took to Periscope from Mississauga this afternoon saying, "We've got over 200 crashes already in the GTA and surrounding areas. We've had some serious collisions, we've had some highway closures. It's going to continue through today, through tonight, into tomorrow." Schmidt says the collisions were all preventable. He encourages drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible.
Freezing rain is expected to start hitting the Niagara region this evening. There may be a brief lull overnight before the freezing rain returns as we move into Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon the temperature is expected to raise to 3, transitioning the precipitation back into rain.
There was an earlier power outage impacting more than 15,000 people in St. Catharines. Power has now been restored and an Alectra Utility official tells CKTB the outage was caused by a Hydro One equipment supply issue.
As the storm continues into this evening, power outages are possible throughout Niagara. Residents are encouraged to check their 72 hour emergency kits and be prepared just in case.
Flights are also being delayed and cancelled at Pearson Airport in Toronto due to the poor weather conditions.