Waterloo Region residents and municipalities prepping for blast of wintry weather

Residents in Waterloo Region are preparing for another blast of wintry weather to end the week.

Bags of salt were flying off the shelves at Swanson’s Home Hardware on Wednesday morning. Staff said they’d already sold 100 before noon.

“We actually sold out of salt over the weekend,” said manager Andrew Williams. “I just got a half load yesterday and I’m expecting another load later this week.”

The multi-day storm is expected to start on Wednesday evening, bringing heavy rain, snow, ice pellets and gusting winds. It could make for some tricky travel conditions over the next few days.

“It’s getting multiple seasons all at the same time that’s the challenge,” said Emil Marion, manager of transportation operations with the Region of Waterloo.

Crews in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are also getting ready for the storm.

“Between the snowstorms that we’ve recently seen in the past month, we’ve removed about 2,400 truckloads of snow from the areas that don’t have much capacity,” said Roslyn Lusk, the director of operations, roads and traffic with the City of Kitchener. “That’s about 50,000 cubic metres of snow. We’re now up to about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools of snow being removed from our roadways.”

Officials with the City of Waterloo said crews are working “around the clock” on roads, along with clearing catch basins to prepare for possible flooding. Staff will focus on slippery roads as conditions worsen overnight.

As for Cambridge, officials said crews were out Wednesday clearing ice from residential streets thanks to warmer weather. They’re ready to pivot to snow removal and salting when the storm hits.

The Grand River Conservation Authority issued a flood watch on Wednesday afternoon for the entire watershed area due to anticipated runoff and the potential for ice movement in the storm.

Residents are reminded to be prepared, since conditions can change quickly without warning.