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Blizzard warnings issued for much of southern Ontario as winter storm rages on

To reiterate the sentiments of police, fire, government officials and your mom: You should not attempt to travel around Toronto, or anywhere else within southern Ontario right now. It's just too dangerous.

Each of the 32 regions Environment Canada issues weather alerts for in southern Ontario have weather advisories in place as of Friday evening on account of what's being billed as an historic storm.

Fifteen of these regions are currently under blizzard warnings, including such GTHA locales as Niagara, Hamilton, Grey-Bruce, Dufferin-Innisfil and Dunnville-Caledonia-Haldimand.

"Blizzard conditions through tonight. Travel will be extremely difficult and is not advised," reads EnviroCan's blizzard warning for Hamilton, just west of Toronto. "Remember, it does not take much accumulation in combination with very strong winds for whiteout conditions to develop."

The federal weather agency warns that wind gusts of 100 to 110 km/h could sweep across the region, causing utility outages and bringing wind chill values down into the minus twenties.

Similar warnings are in effect for Toronto, which EnviroCan says could see wind gusts of up to 90 km/h overnight between Saturday and Sunday  with near-zero visibility on local roads.

"Major winter storm continuing into Saturday," writes the agency for Toronto, specifically. "Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow."

Emergency responders are also pleading with people in southern Ontario to stay safe at home and off the roads, which are treacherous at present.

"We've had too many calls that are coming in from drivers are out there that shouldn't be out there," said OPP Highway Safety Division Sgt. Kerry Schmidt just after 5 p.m. on Friday in a video dispatch from the scene of a crash.

"Please if you don't need to be on the roads, stay home. Wait for the system to pass... it is going to be a really tough night and I don't want anyone stranded out there overnight. If you're out there, make sure you have an emergency kit. Please drive carefully, drive slowly and get to where you're going. But if you haven't left, please don't leave. Stay where you are."

Lead photo by

OPP West Region

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