Atlantic Canadians are bracing for a blizzard as the storm that walloped Southern Ontario moves east, giving much of the country a hefty dose of winter’s wrath.
The storm is forecast to rage over parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Saturday, dumping up to 40 centimetres of snow with strong wind gusts.
“It will do a number on Atlantic Canada,” said David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada. “It’s packing a real punch.”
The blizzard is a combination of three weather systems: an Alberta clipper of cold air, a Texas low of warm, moist air and a powerful storm that began in the Carolinas.
In Toronto, the storm was the worst to hit the city in five years. It blanketed a swath of Southern Ontario with up to 25 centimetres of snow by day’s end, causing chaos as hundreds of flights were grounded, classes were cancelled and collisions were reported.
Ian Wright of Hamilton Paramedic Services said an 80-year-old woman in that city collapsed while shovelling her driveway early in the morning. She was pronounced dead on the scene, he said.
A 49-year-old man died after he lost control of his vehicle and was hit by a pickup truck in Pickering, east of Toronto. The truck was then rear-ended by another car, police said.
Further east, provincial police reported a 57-year-old Ottawa man died when his car crashed in blizzard conditions along Highway 401 near Prescott, Ont.
The wintry weather forced the cancellation of more than half the flights at Pearson International Airport – more than 700 in all – with more than 90 scrapped at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
Traffic was lighter in Toronto’s downtown core as many motorists heeded warnings to stay off the roads, choosing to work from home or take the day off. Still, Constable Clint Stibbe said, “with the restricted lanes, the congestion is just as high if not worse.”