It is believed all motorists have been rescued after an estimated 300 people were trapped in their vehicles along Highway 402 near Sarnia overnight.

Canadian Forces helicopters, police snowmobiles and 4x4 vehicles were being used rescue stranded motorists. Snowmobilers were delivering food and gasoline to those still in their vehicles.

A state of emergency has been issued from Sarnia to the London area and Highway 402 remains closed.

Weather conditions made efforts to help the motorists tricky, with winds gusting to 65 kilometres an hour.

The OPP says drifting snow and zero visibility since Monday had left people, and about 360 vehicles, trapped between Sarnia and County Road 22, about 30 kilometres east of the city.

There is also concern following police reports that motorists are removing road closed signs or driving around them.

Police are asking drivers to stay off the roads, and reminding people that driving on closed roads is illegal.

There is no sign the bad weather will let up anytime soon, and more snow squall warnings have been issued in southwestern Ontario.

Snow squall warnings are in effect for:

Watford – Pinery Park – Eastern Lambton County – Rodney – Shedden – Western Elgin County – St. Thomas – Aylmer – Eastern Elgin County – Strathroy – Komoka – Western Middlesex County – London – Parkhill – Eastern Middlesex County – Goderich – Bluewater – Southern Huron County – Wingham – Blyth – Northern Huron County – Bruce Peninsula – Sauble Beach – Tobermory and Owen Sound – Blue Mountains – Northern Grey County.

Additional road closures include:

  • Highway 21 from Owen Sound to Grand Bend
  • Highway 6 from Tobermory to Wiarton, and between Chatsworth and Arthur
  • Highway 9 between Kincardine and Walkerton
  • Highway 26 between Owen Sound and Meaford
  • Regional Road 86 from Lucknow to Highway 21

Storm closes local plants

The snow storm has cut the supply of parts in the area, prompitn General Motors of Canada to send employees home and cancel shifts at two plants.

Employees in Oshawa, Ont., were sent home during the day shift and that the night shift was also cancelled. Meanwhile shifts have also been cancelled in Ingersoll, Ont., for the second day in a row.

Parts from Michigan and southwestern Ontario have not been able to get through to the plants.

There are reports Ford has also been impacted, but Chrysler has reportedly not been affected.

With files from The Canadian Press