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Slippery commute expected for GTA drivers this afternoon as snow arrives

It's no bomb cyclone, but it's still record-breaking cold in Toronto on Friday.

Drivers are in for a slick evening commute on Wednesday as snow arrives in the GTA.

A snowfall warning is currently in effect for the city and other parts of the Golden Horseshoe with up to 15 centimetres of snow expected by tonight.

According to Toronto’s superintendent of road operations Mark Mills, drivers and pedestrians will have to exercise “extreme patience” as crews work through the day and into the overnight hours cleaning up from the storm.

“Our first line of defence has been salting but with this magnitude of snow that is coming it will be a an all hands on deck storm and we will deploy all of our 1,100 pieces of equipment, including 600 road plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks,” he told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “Please exercise some patience, we are there to help. We will get these roads in a good state of repair but unfortunately this season it seems our storms are happening at either the a.m. or p.m. rush hours.”

Mills said that plowing on main and arterial roads will begin between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and continue throughout the afternoon and evening.

He said at this point he doesn’t expect crews will be able to begin plowing local roads until about 10 p.m. with that process then expected to take about 14 to 16 hours to fully complete.

Sidewalk plowing, meanwhile, began along high pedestrian corridors at noon and will move to less busy corridors once completed.

Mills said that the storm appears to be developing as forecast but he said that it will nonetheless create challenging driving conditions as the cleanup process unfolds.

Due to the expected conditions, both Centennial College (as of 12:30 p.m.) and Seneca College (as of 6 p.m.) have announced closures of all of their campuses.

“This storm is almost exactly what we thought it would be so our preparations began a couple days ago and we are right on par,” Mills said. ““Unfortunately I guess it another day for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to exercise some extreme patience.”

Heaviest snow expected this afternoon

Snow began falling early Wednesday morning but Environment Canada says that the heaviest snowfall is expected this afternoon, “resulting in a significant impact on the commute home.”

“Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow,” the weather agency warns in its snowfall warning.

Toronto will see a high of -6 C today but the temperature will feel closer to -17 with the wind chill. An extreme cold weather alert has been issued by the city’s medical officer of health, triggering additional cold weather services across Toronto.

Sunshine is in the forecast on Thursday and Friday with daytime highs hovering around 0 C.

News Credit – CP24

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