OPP says avoiding roads 'the wise choice' as messy weather continues

The Ottawa International Airport suggests travellers check their flights before leaving home and provincial police are advising motorists to stay off the roads until snow removal crews clear them after a night of messy weather.

"In terms of driving, it's basically a mixed bag out there today," said Bill Dickson, a spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police east division.

"Bottom line is, really, if you don't have to go somewhere, don't bother. Hunker down for the day and wait until the [Ministry Of Transportation] and its contractors and other snow removal organizations get out there, get all the roads treated and everything cleared up."

Much of eastern Ontario was hit with a mix of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow yesterday evening and overnight. The Ottawa forecast Sunday calls for more ice pellets and freezing rain that should turn into snow this afternoon and stop this evening. 

A freezing rain warning for Ottawa was lifted at 10:48 a.m. Sunday. The low this afternoon will be -6 C but will feel like -14 C with the windchill. The low tonight will be -13 C but will feel like -16 C.

The OPP spokesperson suggests anyone on the roads today ensure plows, salt trucks and other snow removal services have space to work and warns against trying to pass them.

"Don't pass them. Let them do their thing, even if they're only going 50 kilometres an hour on the highway," Dickson said.

Kate McKenna/CBC

The spokesperson said the force was kept busy overnight with minor collisions but said none involved major injuries. 

"Traffic was a little light," he said. "Sounds like people were making the wise choice to stay off the roads overnight."