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'Consider postponing non-essential travel': Snow squalls continue in Waterloo-Wellington

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Waterloo Region and Wellington County got their first blast of winter weather Monday – and the snow isn’t letting up yet.

In an update Tuesday morning, Environment Canada said snow squalls are expected to continue through to this evening and people are advised to “consider postponing non-essential travel.”

Accumulations of 10 cm to 20 cm are possible, the weather agency warned.

Parts of northern Wellington County could get up to 30 cm.

Snowfall rates could reach 5 cm per hour at times. Combined with strong winds gusting to 60 km per hour, Environment Canada said there may be “very poor visibility at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.”

“Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations,” Environment Canada said.

Snow squalls make for a messy mix on Highway 8 in Kitchener on Nov. 28. 2023. (Chris Thomson/CTV Kitchener)

As of Monday afternoon, OPP said they had responded to over 100 crashes in the West Region since 1 a.m.

"Mother nature is going to drop a bunch of snow on us, so when you get up in the morning make sure your vehicle is completely cleared off, you got a full tank of gas, full resevoir of windshield wiper fluid, good wipers, and hopefully some good winter tires on your vehicle," said OPP Sgt. Ed Sanchuck in social media video.

Snow squall warnings are in effect for Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Huron County, Perth County, Brant County and Oxford County.

DIGGING OUT THE SHOVELS

After what was largely an unseasonably warm fall, Tuesday was the first day many in Waterloo Region had to grab their shovels.

“We're due for it,” said Rodney Dusick, clearing snow outside his Kitchener home. “Seems a little early but I guess not...I like to keep the driveways and sidewalks clear. So fortunately I work from home and have the time to get out here and do it.”

Kitchener resident Rodney Dusick clears snow from the driveway of his Kitchener home on Nov. 28, 2023. (Chris Thomson/CTV Kitchener)

Kitchener resident Ken Warden was also out shovelling.

“Especially in this area there are a lot of seniors,” Warden said. “So any icy conditions, I’ve got driveway salt and that sort of thing and I just want to keep it safe for everybody else. We have one woman, 89 years old, who goes for walks. So we all sort of watch out for each other.”

If you do have plans to shovel, Region of Waterloo Public Health reminded people to take breaks, push the snow, don't lift it, hold the shovel close to your body and bend your knees.

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