NEWS

Freezing rain, snow and winds turn Montreal region into skating rink

01/04/2015 09:48 EST | Updated 03/06/2015 05:59 EST
Freezing rain on top of 20 centimetres of snow has created treacherous road conditions in much of Quebec.

The snow began falling Saturday afternoon and continued overnight. It turned to freezing rain by early morning, causing the snow to turn to crunchy ice.

The mixed precipitation has made for particularly slippery highways in the Montérégie.

Some areas of particular concern:

- Most highways between Montreal and the Lacolle border are icy.

- Highway 50 between the Outaouais and the Laurentians is icy.

- Blowing snow is reducing visibility on roads in Quebec City and the Gaspésie region.

Drivers in the greater Montreal region, including in Laval and on the South Shore, have been spotted pulling off to the side of the road to scrape ice off their windshields before continuing along the highways.

The Sûreté du Québec said more than 75 cars have pulled off the road so far this morning as drivers grapple with the ice.

Transports Québec hasn’t reported any major collisions yet, but conditions may get worse before they get better.

Environment Canada warns against travel

Freezing rain is supposed to fall into Sunday afternoon, at which point it will turn into regular rain. However, temperatures hovering near the freezing mark and winds gusting anywhere from 40 to 70 kilometres per hour could transform this rain into ice.

Many flights into and out of the Montreal-Trudeau airport have been delayed or cancelled due to weather.

Via Rail reported on Sunday morning that their trains were running on schedule, but that it was experiencing an increase in demand for its Quebec City-Windsor corridor. The rail company attributed the increase to people not wanting to travel on roads or by airplane.

"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions," warned Environment Canada.

The weather agency has issued weather warnings for the southern half of the province.

Warnings in different pockets of Quebec include extreme cold, freezing rain, snow squalls, reduced visibility and wind.

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