Thousands without power as freezing rain hits Windsor-Essex

A freezing rain warning is in effect for Windsor-Essex.  (CBC - image credit)
A freezing rain warning is in effect for Windsor-Essex. (CBC - image credit)

There are power outages, along with closures and cancellations, as freezing rain hits Windsor-Essex.

A freezing rain warning, issued by Environment Canada, warned of up to 10 millimetres of ice accretion and winds gusting up to 60 km/h.

As of 9 p.m., Enwin Utilities is reporting power outages in multiple areas of city, some affecting several thousand households and businesses.

ELK Energy, which serves Essex, Lakeshore and Kingsville, says there are multiple outages in its coverage area as well.

"All crews have been dispatched to restore hydro as quickly and safely as possible," the company said on Twitter.

Essex Powerlines says there is an outage in Leamington as of around 7 p.m that is affecting 4,159 customers.

Jennifer La Grassa/CBC
Jennifer La Grassa/CBC

Phong Nguy, manager of public works operations for the city of Windsor, said teams have been monitoring the situation since early Wednesday morning and salting in advance of the storm.

All 21 trucks are out on the roads salting and crews will continue to monitor the weather as a mix of rain and freezing rain is falling.

He asked drivers to give trucks space to do their work.

Windsor International Airport is listing a number of departures and arrivals as delayed or cancelled.

Airport CEO Mark Galvin said because of the weather related issues, travellers should check ahead of going to the airport.

"Just keep checking checking your flight status with your airline," he said.

Galvin said crews are hard at work trying to minimize any problems being brought on by the storm.

Jennifer La Grassa/CBC
Jennifer La Grassa/CBC

"The [operations] guys are keeping ahead of that and monitoring not only the weather but what's coming next to make those decisions to do the treatments that we need to do on the runways," he said.

"Our job is to try and stay ahead of it and to do what we need to do."

As for how long this weather system could be affecting the airport?

"We'll probably see some some effect into tomorrow and hopefully that will be the the the end of it, but weather is weather and it can change quickly," he said.

The University of Windsor announced in a tweet that all classes from 3 p.m. onward are cancelled because of the weather.

In an email, a spokesperson said the Leddy Library will close at 4:30 p.m., the student centre will close at 5 p.m, the Toldo Lancer Centre and Forge Fitness Centre will close at 7 p.m. with all scheduled programming cancelled as of 5 p.m.

However, the Lancer women's basketball game at 7 p.m. will go ahead as scheduled.

St. Clair College announced that because of the warning, all classes at its Windsor and Chatham campuses scheduled from 1 p.m. into the evening have been cancelled.

The college plans to open as scheduled tomorrow.

School bus service for students across Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton was also cancelled for Wednesday.

The decision was made because of the incoming ice storm that is expected to hit the area by the time students normally head home in the afternoon.