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County roadways open; state of emergency ends, cleanup continues

Hwy 62 near Mountain View will be reduced to one lane while road crews clean up Dec. 27.

UPDATE DEC. 27: All primary roads are cleared; all secondary roads with houses on them have been plowed at least once. Crews are still working at Caughey Road, Allison Road, and a small portion of Mallory Road to open them completely.

Highway 62, a provincially maintained road, is reduced to one lane at Mountain View due to drifting snow accumulation. Drivers are advised to drive with caution or avoid the area if possible.

Main sidewalks in towns and villages have been cleared. Crews continue to work to clear secondary sidewalks.
The municipality has removed abandoned vehicles that were impeding the flow of traffic. Call Unique Towing at (647) 390-9909 or Shantz Towing 613.476.2517 to arrange retrieval of your vehicle. If your vehicle is in the ditch, you are responsible for arranging a tow service to remove it.

The municipality notes people can help Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue by clearing snow from around fire hydrants on their property. Doing so will ensure the fire department will be able to quickly fight a fire at your house or your neighbour’s.

UPDATE DEC. 26: Mayor Steve Ferguson is terminating the state of emergency he declared Dec. 23 due to blizzard conditions.

“The emergency declaration is no longer necessary as we move into the recovery phase of winter storm,” said Ferguson. “The clean-up will continue over the next several days, and I am confident that the worst of this extremely rare storm is behind.”

The significant weather event declaration remains in effect and residents are advised to use extra caution as the municipality may not be able to meet its maintenance standards for roads and sidewalks.

Primary roads remain clear and a majority of secondary roads have been plowed. Crews will continue to clear primary roads overnight Dec. 26-27.

Heavy equipment is on the way to West Fry Road and crews will work to open the road into the evening. Depending on the progress made, the road may not be cleared until Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Highway 62, a provincially maintained road, is reduced to one lane at Mountain View due to drifting snow accumulation. Drivers are advised to drive with caution or avoid the area if possible.

e360 will resume regularly scheduled curbside garbage collection on Tuesday, Dec. 27 on roads that are passable. If your garbage is not collected by the end of day, bring it inside and put it out the following week. You can also drop it off at a landfill and transfer site.

Regularly scheduled curbside recycling collection will NOT occur on Dec. 27. Hold your recycling for next week’s regular pick up. The Picton waste site will be open on Wednesday, Dec. 28. All landfill and transfer sites are expected to operate normal hours on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31.

County roadways are now open – not all roads are cleared

DEC. 26: Prince Edward County OPP have reopened roadways in Prince Edward County.

While many roads are now passable, drivers are reminded to use caution and have patience with road crews as they have been working day and night to keep up with the drifting snow. Not all roadways have been plowed but major routes are now cleared.

“While we have seen improvement, the condition of more than 1,000 km of roads across the County varies and not all roads are passable. As well, visibility could be impacted by snow squalls,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “I urge everyone to limit travel to essential trips, go slow, take extra time to get where you are going, and give snow-clearing operations extra space.

Emergency crews have removed a number of vehicles from the roadway that interfered with traffic and snow removal. Crews worked overnight to keep the main County road arteries cleared. Since early this morning, crews have been back out clearing secondary sideroads.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the staff who sacrificed Christmas with their families and loved ones,” Ferguson adds. “Also, thank you to all of the essential workers for their heroic efforts to keep us safe and deliver vital services over this extremely challenging period.”

Owners of vehicles that have been towed should reach out to the tow companies listed below to recover their vehicles. Vehicles that did not interfere with traffic will remain in the snow for owners to arrange their own tow removals.

The East Region S.A.V.E. (Snowmobile, ATV, Vessel Enforcement Team) is in Prince Edward County assisting officers with call response and rescuing stranded occupants.

Prince Edward County OPP continue to monitor the situation closely with Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue, Hastings Quinte EMS and the Municipality of Prince Edward and will update when conditions improve.

Shantz Towing: 613.476.2517
Fellows Towing: 877.401.0401

– Photo Prince Edward OPP

County roads remain closed overnight; possible to open Monday

UPDATE 3 DEC 25: All County roads will remain closed overnight Dec. 25-26 under order of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) but could possibly open tomorrow depending on the effect of snow squalls overnight. Stranded motorists have been rescued, but all stranded vehicles have not yet been removed.

The possibility of snow squalls this evening and the poor condition of many roads in the County continue to make driving dangerous.

“We hope that by early tomorrow morning we will be in a better position to consider reopening the roads,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “Public safety is our number one concern at this point, though, and we do not want more people stranded on County roads overnight again.”

All motorists that were stranded have been rescued as of 4 p.m. Christmas day. The OPP and the municipality continue to remove vehicles that are directly impeding plowing and creating a safety hazard.

The main County road arteries have been plowed and some progress has been made on secondary side roads. The County is grateful for the ongoing assistance provided by the City of Belleville, which is supporting this work.

Through the evening and overnight hours on Dec. 25-26, crews will focus on maintaining the main artery roads and the emergency routes. Plowing of secondary sideroads will resume early in morning on Dec. 26.

Snow squalls may affect the region tonight into Tuesday, Dec. 27. Snow squalls may be heavy at times and significant snowfall accumulations are possible. Current estimates are local snowfall accumulations of 15 to 30 cm by Tuesday morning.

Dial 911 in an emergency when you need immediate help from police, fire or ambulance services. An emergency situation can include medical emergencies such as someone experiencing chest pain or difficulty breathing or a fire that is not contained or controlled. If you are stranded along the roadside, call the OPP’s non-emergency phone line at 1.888.310.1122.

The emergency warming centres in Picton and Consecon are closed this evening due to the lack of need for the service; the Emergency Control Group will reassess at 8:30 am to determine if it will reopen on Dec. 26.

The Emergency Control Group will meet at 8:30 am on Monday, Dec. 26. An update will follow.

County roads remain closed; motorists being rescued

UPDATE 2 DEC. 25: While weather conditions have improved slightly, roads in Prince Edward County are not passable and very dangerous.

All roads remain closed, under order of the OPP, while plowing is focused on main arteries. Driving on County roads is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act.

“I know this is difficult to hear on Christmas Day, but it is not to safe to travel even though the weather warnings have ended,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “More than 100 cars have been abandoned, which is hampering road clearing. Do not add to this total by venturing out today.”

Municipal plows were out this morning prioritizing the main road arteries to support emergency services and areas where Hydro One is working to restore power. The municipality does not expect to plow secondary roads for several hours.

“The OPP is receiving a high volume of calls. Only call if it is an emergency. The OPP does not have time to answer non-life threatening calls,” Mayor Ferguson adds.

Dial 911 in an emergency when you need immediate help from police, fire or ambulance services. An emergency situation can include medical emergencies such as someone experiencing chest pain or difficulty breathing or a fire that is not contained or controlled.

The H.O.P.E Centre in Picton (46 King Street) and the Consecon fire stations (14 County Road 29) are open as an emergency warming centres if you are without power in Picton and Consecon. The County is advising residents to only go to the emergency warming centres on foot. Do not drive.

Flurries and blowing snow are to continue throughout the day on December 25. Local amount 5 cm. Wind will be out of the west 30 km/h gusting to 60 km/h. Temperature steady near minus 4 C. Wind chill near minus 13.

 

UPDATE DEC. 25: Roadways in Prince Edward County remain closed and Prince Edward OPP continue to advise motorists to stay at home.

“The conditions have not improved and many roads are still impassable. Road crews are working around the clock to keep up with the snow. The skies may be clear but the roadways are anything but,” said Constable Aaron Miller, this morning.

“There are over 100 vehicles abandoned on roadways with over 12 individuals stranded in their vehicles. Emergency crews continue to prioritize calls for service an d respond accordingly.”

Drivers are reminded if they are stranded in their vehicle to ensure the exhaust is clear of snow to avoid these fumes from entering the vehicle.

Warming centres are available in Consecon at the fire hall (14 County Road 29) and at the H.O.P.E Centre in Picton (46 King Street) for people without power in Picton.

OPP have also received a number of non emergency calls including asking for deliveries for food and wellbeing checks on cats which tie up resources required to handle this significant weather event.

Prince Edward County OPP continue to monitor the situation closely with Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue, Hastings Quinte EMS and the Municipality of Prince Edward and will update when conditions improve.

County roads snow covered. – Sue Capon photo

– Photo @shirehall

UPDATE #4: All roads will remain closed overnight Dec. 24-25 as it is extremely dangerous to travel in Prince Edward County.

Prince Edward OPP first closed the roads Dec. 23 and note conditions have not improved as many roads are still impassable. Multiple vehicles remain in ditches around the County as tow operations have also ceased due to weather conditions.

Emergency crews are attempting to rescue motorists in partnership with the County’s roads department staff. Tow operations have also ceased due to the blizzard conditions. Road crews are working around the clock in attempt to keep up with clearing snow and drifting.

The OPP have also received many non-emergency calls including requests for deliveries of food, which tie up resources required to handle the significant weather event.

People who are stranded along the roadside should call the OPP’s non-emergency phone line at 1.888.310.1122. It is recommended people waiting in their car with the engine running, should clear their exhaust if it is covered by snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dial 911 in an emergency when you need immediate help from police, fire or ambulance services. An emergency situation can include medical emergencies such as someone experiencing chest pain or difficulty breathing or a fire that is not contained or controlled.

The H.O.P.E Centre in Picton (46 King Street) is open as an emergency warming centre if you are without power in Picton. The County is advising residents to only go to the Hope Centre on foot – do not drive.

County Fire & Rescue reminds residents to protect themselves from carbon monoxide by ensuring all fuel-fired heating appliances have clear exhaust ports outside your house. Ice and snow can build up around the exhaust outlets causing the poisonous gas to buildup in your home. Never heat your home with a heating source that is not intended for indoor use, or use a barbecue indoors.

Environment Canada is calling for blizzard conditions to continue overnight Dec. 24-25. Local amount 10 to 20 cm. Wind southwest 50 km/h gusting to 80 km/h, becoming west 30 km/h gusting to 50 km/h before morning. Temperature steady near -4. Wind chill near -16.

Plowing underway on main County roads; blizzard warning continues

UPDATE #3 Christmas Eve 1 p.m.: All roads remain closed. Plows working to clear main road arteries.

The municipality resumed snow clearing operations on several main road arteries in Prince Edward County. Prince Edward County Fire & Rescue is pleading with residents to stay off the roads as stranded vehicles will block and prevent emergency vehicles from reaching an emergency. They report motorists have become stranded on County roads and have run out of fuel.

Municipal staff prioritized routes to support Hydro One’s efforts to restore power. Hydro crews are now able to work in the areas of West Lake and Consecon, and they are on their way to Waupoos.

“Even though plows are out, road conditions are still extremely unsafe at this time and all roads remain closed. I’m asking everyone to stay off the roads and allow plow operators to do their job,” Mayor Steve Ferguson said.

All County roads remain closed by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The public is advised to stay home and shelter in place.

The municipality has shared plowing information with local health-care and emergency response agencies so that they can arrange staff coverage.

The County has issued a call for mutual aid support from surrounding municipalities less impacted by the winter storm. Several jurisdictions have offered support; more information will be shared as it becomes available.

The municipality is arranging for emergency shelter for motorists who were stranded overnight in their vehicles on Highway 62. The Emergency Control Group will assess the need to expand warming centres when it meets at 3 pm on Saturday, December 24 and more information will be shared at that time.

Visit the Hydro One website for power outage updates or to report an outage. You can also report an outage by calling 1.800.434.1235.

If you are stranded along the roadside, call the OPP’s non-emergency phone line at 1.888.310.1122. The OPP has specialized equipment it can use to assist stranded motorists. Please be advised that the OPP are experiencing a high volume of calls at this time and you may have to wait to speak with an operator.

Dial 911 in an emergency when you need immediate help from police, fire or ambulance services. An emergency situation can include medical emergencies such as someone experiencing chest pain or difficulty breathing or a fire that is not contained or controlled.

Environment Canada is calling for blizzard conditions to continue throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 24. Local amount 10 to 20 cm. Wind southwest 70 km/h gusting to 100 km/h, diminishing to 50 km/h gusting to 80 km/h late this afternoon. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 21C this morning and minus 14C this afternoon.

County roads remain closed as blizzard warning continues

UPDATE 2 DEC. 24: Prince Edward County roads remain closed. OPP report the combination of visibility being near zero and road conditions have made roads impassable.

Constable Aaron Miller states drivers continue to venture out this morning despite extreme weather conditions and closed roadways.

“Multiple vehicles remain stranded on the roadways and weather conditions have not improved. Drivers are reminded to stay home and only contact 911 in cases of emergency.”

Prince Edward County’s Emergency Control Group met at 7 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 24 to review the current situation and receive an update from roads staff:
Snow plows worked through the night to help emergency vehicles to travel to calls.
Plowing remains slow due to massive snow drifts higher than the plow in some areas. The County is using larger equipment to remove drifts and allow plows to pass.

County staff have developed a plan of attack for Saturday, Dec. 24:

Plows will work to clear all roads as soon as possible with a priority on the main road arteries of County Road 49, County Road 1, County Road 2, and Highway 33.
Staff will plow routes into Consecon, Waupoos, and West Lake in order to support Hydro One’s efforts to restore power in those areas.

Environment Canada continues its blizzard warning with wind gusts up to 100 km/h, power outages and snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm by Sunday morning. Cold wind chill values are expected to persist through the weekend.

The arenas in Wellington and Picton are closed on Saturday, Dec. 24.

If you are stranded along the roadside, call the OPP’s non-emergency phone line at 1.888.310.1122. Please be advised that the OPP are experiencing a high volume of calls at this time and you may have to wait to speak with an operator.

Mayor declares emergency due to crippling holiday blizzard

Mayor Steve Ferguson has declared an emergency due to blizzard conditions throughout Prince Edward County. All roads in Prince Edward County are closed by Prince Edward OPP due to zero visibility and poor road conditions.

“After careful consideration, I have made the decision to declare an emergency out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of staff and the public,” said Mayor Ferguson. “I strongly encourage everyone to stay at home and shelter in place this evening.”

The municipality has temporarily halted snowplowing due to low visibility. The conditions caused a plow to enter the ditch on County Road 1 earlier this evening. The operator was not injured.

Staff remain on call and will plow to support emergency calls (fire and ambulance). As soon as conditions improve, the municipality will resume snow plowing operations and emergency declaration will be terminated.

Environment Canada is calling for blizzard conditions to continue throughout the evening and overnight. Local snow amount forecasted is 10 to 15 cm. Wind southwest 70 km/h gusting to 120 km/h. The temperature will be steady near -7 C but a wind chill near -19.

Earlier today, the County joined neighbouring Belleville and Quinte West in declaring a “significant weather event” due to the severe weather that moved in Friday and is expected to continue over the weekend.

Environment Canada reports the “crippling blizzard conditions” this evening will continue into Saturday. Travel will continue to be difficult to impossible at times, and is not advised. This includes Highway 401 from near Kingston to Brockville. The 401 was closed in both directions from Brighton to Grafton Friday afternoon.

That declaration meant the County was advising residents to use extra caution as the municipality may not be able to meet its maintenance standards for roads and sidewalks due to the heavy snowfall.

Heavy rain overnight Thursday turned to snow late Friday morning, bolstered to blizzard conditions by heavy winds and gusts of 100 to 120 km/h throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

Snowfall amounts of 20 to 40 cm can be expected by Sunday morning.

Fallen trees and branches have been reported County-wide. Many in the County experienced power outages, some still waiting for the lights to come back on.

“Timber!… they fell like pins as at least four large, mature pine trees toppled Friday afternoon taking a sizeable chunk of earth with them, at several residences in Wellington’s west end on Main Street, this all in blizzard conditions during the wildest winds. A sizable tangled mess to clean-up eventually, but property damage appears relatively minor upon initial sight.” – Sharon Harrison photos

“The safety of the public remains a priority for the municipality and every reasonable effort will always be made to meet the winter maintenance service levels,” notes Mark Kerr, the County’s Communications and Consultation Supervisor.

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  1. MokaJ says:

    Anyone has news about the conditions on road 12 south off the highway 62 ? good job everyone!++

  2. AM says:

    My power was out, but family in another province was able to check your website and keep me informed via telephone. Thank you for the updates… it is appreciated.

  3. SS says:

    Absolutely massive effort by Hydro One and County crews, so much appreciated. Even if it was not over Christmas. Makes it even more of a personal sacrifice for so many.

    My personal goals for 2023 are to make sure we are better prepared. I had thought we were, but my horizon was only 24 hours. I want to be prepared for at least a week going forward.

    Thanks so much to the crews and countylive.ca for info publishing.

    Happy New Year to all.

  4. CountyProud says:

    Hats off to EVERYONE who got out there to clean up and / help out a neighbour. This will certainly become one of those storms we talk about for years to come

  5. Teena says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THE “CLEAN UP CREW”! Hydro crews, paramedics, hospitals, fire dept., OPP (and anyone I’ve probably missed here!) are very much appreciated.
    Merry Christmas!

  6. bram p davies says:

    A very useful service thank you

  7. SS says:

    Thank you countylive.ca for updating us, much appreciated!

    Any info available on roads from Milford to Picton much appreciated, gas running low for generators, thanks again.

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