Winter storm set to lash Norfolk, Haldimand areas

Winter storm set to lash Norfolk, Haldimand areas

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Environment Canada has issued winter storm and snowstorm warnings for much of southwestern Ontario as a system approaches the region ahead of Christmas Eve.

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The warning has prompted Haldimand County to declare a significant weather event, resulting in the closure of community facilities on Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24.

Grand Erie and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic School Boards have announced buses will be canceled tomorrow and schools will be closed.

Garbage and recycling collections have also been canceled in Haldimand County for December 23. People are asked to remove rubbish and recycling from the curb and dispose of them with the following week’s items.

In Norfolk and Haldimand, the national weather agency is calling for five to six inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 120 kilometers per hour by Friday night, which will blow snow and significantly reduce visibility.

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Environment Canada’s winter storm warning for Norfolk and Haldimand is also forecasting wind chill levels in the -20C range and flash freezing.

The snow and “harmful winds” will develop Friday morning and continue through Saturday, Environment Canada said. Blast freezing is also possible on Friday morning.

Snow or rain will fall in the region starting late Thursday afternoon or evening before turning to rain overnight, the national weather agency said. The mercury will crash on Friday, possibly turning all the rain into ice.

Blizzard conditions may develop for locations near Lake Erie on Friday as a result of snow gusts,” the alert said.

Environment Canada is asking people to postpone non-essential travel until weather and road conditions improve.

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“Visibility is suddenly reduced to almost zero at times during heavy snowfall and blowing snow,” the agency said in its winter weather warning for the region.

Haldimand County is asking for the public’s patience, noting that crews will be working “around the clock” to clear roads and sidewalks.

“During any significant weather event, local residents are advised to exercise extra caution and are reminded that standard deadlines for clearing roads and sidewalks may not be met,” the release said.

“The county’s winter control teams are ready to respond to this significant weather event and will be working around the clock. However, given the expected conditions, residents are asked to be patient and allow staff time to prioritize clearing of major thoroughfares.”

Norfolk County is asking people to take vehicles off the road to allow for snow removal.

The county also said it would issue an update by 7 a.m. Friday on potential closures of county services, including garbage collection

On Wednesday, the Long Point Region Conservation Authority and the Grand River Conservation Authority issued flood warnings for the Lake Erie watershed in the wake of the storm.

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