toronto snow

Toronto highways are still a mess post-blizzard and police are towing tons of cars

It's been two days since nearly 40 cm of snow dumped on Toronto and the rest of Southern Ontario within just a few hours earlier this week, and while cleanup is indeed underway, parts of the city are still somewhat stalled — namely, our major freeways.

Though a fleet of hundreds of snow plows is presently putting in their time on city streets, and the Don Vally Parkway and Gardiner Expressway have reopened since their closures on Monday, major routes such as Highway 401 remained an utter snafu well past the blizzard's end.

The Ontario Provincial Police were still working to get out more than 1,000 transport trucks littering the 401 and blocking traffic as of early yesterday, with Sergeant Kerry Schmidt taking to social media to ask drivers to continue to stay off the road if at all possible as cleanup continues over the next few days.

"We have collisions, wrecks, jackknifed transport trucks and vehicles just stuck in the snow all across the GTA, with dozens and dozens and dozens of outstanding calls for service right now," Schmidt said in a video taken in middle of some lane closures on Tuesday morning.

"The traffic volumes right now are significant... if you need to drive and it's urgent and necessary, the highways are open but they're moving extremely slowly. If you can stay home, just stay home."

Schmidt also cautioned those who are out and about to drive slowly and look far ahead, as conditions are still wet, snowy and icy — and only about to get worse, according to the forecast — which poses a huge risk for collisions.

He also added that there are still problems "everywhere" despite the fact that roads are now plowed — as recently as Wednesday afternoon, plows were dispatched to a snowy rollover on the 401 near Bayview, where the shoulders of the road are still covered in piles of the white stuff and traffic is still heavy and slow due to the conditions.

"We've had quite a few rollovers already with vehicles catching that snow," Schmidt said in another video around 2:30 p.m. today. "We've got narrow lanes, narrow ramps and in some cases, the snow is actually still covering the lanes themselves."

Meanwhile, authorities are still towing and storing the many vehicles that were stuck and abandoned on major roads during the storm. Ontario drivers are being advised to call in to find out where their car may have been taken.

As authorities and plow crews work to tidy up transportation routes under a weather alert in Toronto, local businesses (especially those with patios) are likewise still recovering and prepping for a dip to - 24 C with the wind chill this evening, which is set to turn melted conditions into an icy mess.

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