Environment Canada issued weather warnings for regions across the GTA, including Barrie, Markham and Mississauga who themselves reached out to residents with safety tips.

The City of Barrie cancelled all of their registered and recreational programs Sunday April 15, which also included fitness facilities. The winter storm warning remained in effect all weekend, leading to power outages resulting from ice forming on electrical equipment, high winds, and tree branches falling on power lines.

Local residents were discouraged from parking on the street, while maintenance crews were actively salting and sanding the icy roads.

Information is available at www.barrie.ca/EmergencyManagement

Mississauga issued flood watch and winter weather warnings all the way up to mid-week, citing the freezing rain and heavy rainfall today forecasts for Southern Ontario. Crews were out in full force over the weekend, ploughing and salting the roads against ice and snow accumulations.

Several libraries were also closed, including Meadowvale, Courtneypark, South Common, Frank McKechnie, Streetsville and Lakeview while recreation and culture programs cancelled on the 15th. City buildings did, however, remain open as warming centres.

Mississauga SportZone also cancelled youth and adult leagues, while city museums kept their doors closed.

Residents were advised to take the following steps to protect their property and themselves in the face of massive rains and ice that also affected citywide rivers systems and lake water levels:

• Avoid walking or driving in flooded areas
• Stay away from creeks, rivers and streams
• Keep children and pets away from all waterways
• Clear debris from catch basins near your home or business, as long as it is safe to do so
• Call 3-1-1 to report blocked catch basins or road flooding in your neighbourhood
• Do not open any sewer manholes under any circumstances

For more information, visit www.mississauga.ca 

As for Markham, Environment Canada’s freezing rain warning for the city and surrounding areas this weekend detailed ice build-up 10 to 20 mm and an ice storm.

The ice build-up combined with northeast winds up to 60 km/h threatened power outages due to tree branches falling on power lines. Alectra Utilities has issued a statement advising their local customers to brace for a potential power outage over the weekend.

For information, visit www.alectrautilities.com

The City of Markham reminded residents to have a basic family Home Emergency Preparedness Kit with the following items:

• Water – 4 litres per person, per day (2 litres for drinking and 2 litres for sanitation and food preparation)
• Non-perishable food i.e. canned food, dried food, energy bars
• Manual can opener
• Wind up or battery powered radio and flashlight
• First aid kit
• Extra keys for home and car
• Cash in small bills and change
• Change of clothes
• Emergency blanket or sleeping bag
• Special items such as prescription medication, infant formula, etc.
• Ensure you charge up your electronic devices in advance of the storm

Today, the Peel School Board closed all schools and offices due to weather conditions, along with busing, before and aftercare programs and night school.

Meanwhile, the York Region District School Board kept their doors open – which is not uncommon for them during inclement weather. They did, however, cancel all school bus and taxi service which would have prevented those students relying on the commute.

The school board trustees’ multi-year strategic plan town hall meeting at Keswick high school was also cancelled, along with continuing education classes and permit activities.

The forecast for the rest of the week sees the weather beginning to lighten up with temperatures all the way into the double digits by Sunday. Here’s hoping that this was the last of the surprise Spring storms and that it will be somewhat smooth sailing until Thanksgiving. The state of affairs this past week has set surely placed a thread of worry in the minds of Southern Ontarians as to the state of our climate – which seems to be acting up.