Driving conditions treacherous, cold weather alert extended by Health Unit Friday

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Police across the London region warned of icy road conditions and blowing snow with reduced visibility, resulting in some closures on area highways. 

The OPP in Middlesex and Huron counties say there have been numerous accidents, including on Hwy. 21 which runs along Lake Huron.

Environment Canada said a snow squall warning was in place Friday, expected to extend into the evening, due to high wind and snow blowing off the lake. Up to 15 centimetres of snow were expected to accumulate over the course of the day, with two more centimetres expected overnight.

“We are seeing terrible road conditions. A strong cold wind is blowing a ton of snow and it’s accumulating on the roads,” said OPP Constable Jeffery Hare when speaking to News just before 3:00 p.m., Friday.

“It’s not pretty out here.”

By mid-afternoon, provincial police had reported at least 40 weather-related collisions in Middlesex County.

North of London, Medway Road was closed between Vanneck and Denfield until mid-afternoon, after a vehicle slid off the road and hit a hydro pole in the morning. 

A section of the London Road was also closed between Wingham and Teeswater Friday afternoon because of reduced visibility.

Still, Hare said most drivers on the roads were appropriately adjusting their habits for the road conditions.

“If you’re thinking about leaving and it’s not necessary, stay home tonight. Just enjoy TV and whatever you do, and if you don’t have to go out tonight, don’t go out,” he said.

Cold weather alert extended

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced it would extend an already active cold weather alert Friday.

The forecast called for temperatures to drop to -16 C overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, with windchill falling to -24 C. Gusting winds were expected to continue overnight as well.

During cold weather alerts, the City of London has dedicated warming centres open at the following locations:

  • East Lions Community Centre, located at 1731 Churchill Avenue
  • North London Optimist Community Centre, located at 1345 Cheapside Street. 
  • South London Community Centre, located at  1119 Jalna Boulevard.

Additionally, any City of London community centre or library location can be used as a warming centre during operating hours.