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Winter storm: Tracking the impact in Waterloo region and Wellington County


A significant winter storm swept through southern Ontario with a Texas low bringing up to 20 cm of snow to areas including Waterloo region and Wellington County Wednesday.

Much of southern Ontario was under a snowfall warning.

Precipitation began as flurries Wednesday morning and intensified into the afternoon.

"We could see snowfall accumulations of 2 to 3 cm an hour in that late afternoon window continuing on into the evening hours," said CTV Kitchener weather specialist Will Aiello.

Dozens of collisions have been reported in the region.

"Please drive with extreme care and caution," said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt. "Drive to those conditions. Make sure your headlights are on and give yourself lots of distance behind traffic in front of you. Please get home safely. If you don't need to go out, wait for the system to pass."

Snowfall is expected to taper off early Thursday morning.

Accumulations of 15 to 20 cm are forecast in Waterloo region and southern Wellington County, but higher amounts are possible in some locations. Isolated power outages could also happen.

In northern Wellington County, including Mount Forest and Arthur, up to 15 cm of snow could fall.

Named for the area they originate, Texas lows track toward the eastern Great Lakes region and through one of Canada’s most populated corridors, making them particularly impactful storms.


Power was knocked out for around 1,300 homes and businesses in Kitchener’s Central Frederick area around 2 p.m. The cause of the outage is under investigation.

By 4 p.m., power had been restored to around 800 customers in the area and was expected back on for the remaining 500 by 5:15 p.m.

All Kitchener Public Library locations are closed Wednesday night due to the outage impacting the central branch, but are expected to reopen Thursday.


As the skies clear, temperatures are expected to fall into the weekend with lows near -10 C forecast Friday through Monday.

“The mild conditions we saw through January are about to change,” Aiello said, adding temperatures will remain below seasonal through the early parts of February.


While many are excited for the winter activities that follow a snow dump, experts are warning to be prepared for worst case scenarios as well.

"We're hoping this is the start of winter for us," Bill Creighton, CEO of Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort said Tuesday. "Ski conditions here on the runs we have open are fabulous. What this new snow will do is help us get the rest of the resort open and running."

Certified emergency manager Dave Colvin is hoping to remind people that storms can create dangerous conditions as well.

"Don't underestimate weather," said Colvin. "This is Canada, eh? We're going to get snow, but there are risks."

Colvin says the storm around Christmas served as a warning about the severity of winter weather.

"You're going to have bad driving conditions, you're going to have poor visibility, and it's time to rethink travel," said Colvin. "You've got the warning. You don't want to end up in the ditch or on Highway 401 or stuck in traffic."

He adds that residents should bundle up and check on vulnerable loved ones. For those that have no option but to drive, vehicles should be equipped for the conditions and the possibility of getting stuck on the road.

"Fill your vehicle up with fuel," said Colvin. "Charge your cell phone up and have it available, and if you're out driving, know where the heck you are."

With the possibility of power outages, Colvin advises keeping propane and emergency kits on hand. Top Stories

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