Environment Canada: Widespread power outages likely

Canada's weather agency is calling a system headed to the London region a potentially historic ice storm.

It says widespread power outages are likely.

All of southwestern Ontario and beyond is under a freezing rain warning Saturday.

Nancy Hutton, spokesperson for London Hydro, says workers are on notice ahead of the storm.

“All available crews are ready. Subcontractors are also on notice. It’s a wait and see for us,” she said.

Rain has become widespread and then it will change to freezing rain and likely persist into Saturday evening, Environment Canada says.

A low pressure area over the Central Plains States is steering towards the lower Great Lakes this weekend.

As the low approaches, brisk northeasterly winds will pump in cold Arctic air, forcing temperatures below freezing Saturday morning.

And on top of that, significant rain may fall Sunday afternoon into Sunday night creating localized flooding.

Ice build up of 25 millimeters appears likely by Sunday morning, Environment Canada says.

Strong winds gusting to 70 or 80 km/h are also expected Saturday night and Sunday.

The combination of excessive ice accumulations and strong winds will likely result in widespread power outages due to fallen trees and power lines.

Dangerous winter driving conditions are expected on untreated roads Saturday and Sunday, worsened by fallen tree limbs.

Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.