Orillia calls in extra crews to clear roads as more snow squalls threaten

City crews are tackling main roads before getting to other routes and sidewalks

The never-ending lake effect streamers that have deposited copious amounts of snow on parts of the Orillia and Midland area north to Parry Sound show no sign they want to pack up and exit the region.

Weather spotter Dave Matthew posted on Facebook that Orillia has received 67 cm of snow, 92 cm at Lake St. George in Ramara, and Washago wins with between 100 and 120 cm.

More squalls are possible today, and Environment Canada says Barrie could get in on some of the action tonight with squalls off of Lake Huron dropping about 5 to 10 cm.

Photo – Marie Gagne – Barrie 360

Another factor to consider will be the wind with gusts of 50 km/h, more than enough to cause local blowing and drifting snow.

Orillia officials brought in extra crews to clear main roads Sunday evening and that effort continued overnight and into Monday morning, as well as removing snow from other routes and sidewalks.

The public is reminded that after this large accumulation of snow and additional amounts to come, it will take time to address all areas.

“We ask for everyone’s patience as we dig out from this significant weather event,” the city said on its website.

Photo – Marie Gagne – Barrie 360

Due to the severe weather, the Orillia Recreation Centre will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26 and will reopen on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

The squalls have also pounded parts of Muskoka and Parry Sound.

While Barrie has escaped the wrath of mother nature, a round of snow from squalls coming in off of Lake Huron is possible Monday evening and overnight, but amounts will be very localized.

If it’s any consolation, much milder weather is on tap for New Year’s weekend with a chance of rain.

From the City of Orillia:

Here are some ways you can help our crews clear roads and sidewalks effectively after a winter storm event:
• If possible, keep parked vehicles off the street and sidewalks will speed up snow removal and increase community safety.
• Do not park vehicles on City streets, sidewalks, boulevards, and parking lots between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m.
• Do not park at the end of your driveway or over the sidewalk.
• Do not place snow on the roadway when shoveling or plowing driveways, entrances and sidewalks.
• Pile snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the street) when shoveling. This helps to minimize the pile of snow created by the snowplow at the end of your driveway.
• Remove snow from fire hydrants. During heavy snowfalls, fire hydrants can become snow covered.
• Keep drainage catch basins clear of snow and ice. A build-up of snow and ice on catch basins will prevent the proper drainage from occurring during a thaw.
• Be a good neighbour. Help those who may not be able to shovel their driveways and walkways.

For information regarding winter control in Orillia, including answers to frequently asked questions, please visit orillia.ca/wintercontrol.

Banner image – Dave Matthew