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Manitoba, Northern Ontario Cope With Wintry Blast

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People in southern Manitoba and northern Ontario on Sunday continued to cope with a blistering winter storm that has brought with it snow and freezing rain.

Road conditions continued to hamper getting around, with the Trans-Canada Highway closed between Brandon to Headingley, Man. About 100 trucks were idled at a Husky gas station in Headingley on Sunday morning, waiting for the highway to re-open.

"The system is pushing through northern Ontario right now, but the back end of the storm is still in Manitoba, causing it to storm again today," said Meghan Yeo, a meteorologist at the CBC Weather Centre.

"Winnipeg got 21 cm of snow yesterday, as did Brandon," said Yeo, adding that the storm system has been pummeling the Prairies for days since it first moved through Albert and Saskatchewan.

"They had a lot of snow," she said.

About 2-4 cm of snow was expected again today in Winnipeg, with the temperatures expected to hit a high of -4 C.

"From the start, the storm brought freezing rain through Saskatchewan and Manitoba — and now northern Ontario," she said.

As well, there is a risk of freezing rain for Montreal and Ottawa this morning," Yeo said.

"It was very calm during the brunt of the storm of this system. Then the winds picked up," the CBC's Katie Nicholson reported from Winnipeg on Sunday.

"Of course, we weren't the hardest hit by the system," Nicholson said.

"In Portage La Prarie they got 40 cm last night and that's smack dab in the middle of Headingley" where the Trans-Canada is closed, she said.

But, while northern Ontario digs out, the storm is also causing temperatures in southern Ontario to soar above seasonal highs.

Tough driving

On Saturday RCMP said some vehicles ended up in the ditch around rural Manitoba, but there were no reports of injury. Freezing rain caused extremely icy conditions on provincial roads south of Winnipeg.

A semi-trailer flipped over on the Trans-Canada Highway near Deacon's Corner, just outside the city, on Saturday morning. No one was injured.

There were also some minor delays in arrivals and departures at Winnipeg's James A. Richardson International Airport, but no major disruptions were reported.

Manitoba Transportation spokesman Neil Gobelle on Saturday was expecting it would take the weekend for crews to clear rural highways, even though they are working around the clock.

"Even after it's moved on, I'm expecting high winds to continue, which is going to blow snow back on the highways after we've plowed," he said.

"It's going to be a real challenge for the next day or two."

Darryl Jones of Brandon, Man., said the city was in a virtual whiteout on Saturday morning, as high winds buffeted vehicles both in the city and on surrounding highways.

"The wind is actually coming out of the north, northeast and it's pushing — actually, it's pushing my car toward the centre of the highway, and at times you can't find the centre of the highway with the snowdrifts," he said.

The City of Winnipeg said Saturday that plowing and sanding of streets was underway, starting with major routes. Motorists were advised to drive with caution and to be on the lookout for snow-clearing equipment.

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