Winter’s return causes havoc on Monday commute

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST CARLETON – March went out like a lion and April is pulling a fast one on us, coming in like a lion as well.

West Carleton residents woke up to a somewhat-surprising pile of snow on the ground, and motorists lost their minds, and their traction on the way to work this morning (April 3).

By 9 a.m. this morning the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) reported 19 collisions since the commute started at 6 a.m.

“Roads may be snow-covered and slippery,” the Ops released in a statement, with no hint of sarcasm. “Drive according to the road conditions.”

Several of those collisions were along Highway 417, snagging traffic for an extra-long commute to kick off the April work season. The westbound Queensway in the west end was closed for about 45 minutes.

“Avoid the 417 if possible, this morning,” West Carleton resident Angie Martin-Heletea, who was returning home from her overnight shift, posted on social media. “Probably the worst drive I’ve had on it. Ten multi-car pile ups between Parkdale and Moody, buses, trucks, cars, even a street sweeper that somehow ended up across the outside barrier? My truck was fishtailing doing 70 not even touching the brakes. Wildly slippery. I got off on March and the side roads are fine. Carp Road was good.”

Environment Canada is calling for more bad driving weather Tuesday (April 4).

“A period of freezing rain appears likely beginning Tuesday evening or Tuesday night before transitioning to rain later Wednesday,” Environment Canada released in a statement today (April 3)). “The most significant freezing rain is expected in the Ottawa Valley and areas west including Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay. The rain is expected to taper off Wednesday (April 4) night.”

Environment Canada says rain with ice accretion up to five millimetres is possible. Rainfall amounts of 20 to 40 millimetres are possible. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is also possible.

Temperatures are expected to dip to -3 degrees Celsius overnight (April 3), rise to a high of 8 C Tuesday with a low of -2 C overnight tomorrow.

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