Grey-Bruce has essentially been shut down due to Monday’s blizzard.Buses were cancelled and schools were closed, while numerous roads and highways across the two counties were closed on Monday. Many businesses, facilities and organizations didn’t even bother opening because of the high winds that was making driving treacherous.Environment Canada’s blizzard warning was still in effect as of Monday morning for all of Grey-Bruce, with very strong westerly winds gusting to 90 km/h causing whiteout conditions.The conditions were expected to improve throughout the day as the winds weakened.Among the highways that remained closed were Highway 26 from Owen Sound to Meaford and Meaford to Thornbury, Highway 6 from Tobermory to Wiarton, Highway 6 from Chatsworth to Mount Forest and Highway 10 from Chatsworth to Dundalk.
A road closed sign sits on Highway 26 at the Owen Sound city limits on Monday, February 25, 2019 in Owen Sound, Ont. Rob Gowan/The Owen Sound Sun Times/Postmedia Network
Rob Gowan /
Rob Gowan/Sun Times
Grey County had a number of roads closed Monday morning, including Grey rd. 4 Singhampton to Priceville, Grey Rd. 7, Grey Rd. 2, Grey rd. 9, Grey Rd. 14, Grey Rd. 18, Grey Rd. 29, and Grey Rd. 40.Grey County OPP was urging motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel and had received reports of several stranded vehicles.Grey County OPP said in a news release issued just before 9 a.m. and updated at noon that no county or municipal snowplows were operating due to the dangerous conditions. Grey Highlands and Chatsworth had both closed all their municipal roads.Motorists are encouraged to check weather and road conditions by calling 511 or visiting www.511on.ca for provincial highway conditions. Police also advise the public to monitor local media outlets as well as individual municipal websites.As of 11 a.m. on Monday there were no road closures being reported in Bruce County.But Saugeen Shores was advising the public that some traffic signals had been damaged from the strong winds and crews were working to fix them. The damaged or missing signals were located at Ivings Drive and Hwy. 21, the Walmart intersection with Hwy. 21 and Tomlinson Dr. and Hwy. 21. Drivers were being asked to use caution when approaching the affected intersections, always drive according to weather conditions and be aware of possible dangers related to strong winds.Hydro One was reporting numerous power outages, mainly across Bruce County, all the way from the Cape Chin area on the Bruce Peninsula, down to Lucknow in the south. There were also outages reported in Owen Sound, along with other areas of Grey, including the Meaford, Blue Mountains, Markdale, Feversham, Durham and Hanover areas.The Davidson Centre in Kincardine was open until 11 p.m., while the Tiverton Fire Station was open until 4:30 p.m. for those needing a temporary place to warm up.In Owen Sound, police chief Craig Ambrose asked the public to stay in town and avoid driving if at all possible.“The visibility is poor in the city and far worse in the country,” Ambrose said in a Twitter post.Transit service in the city was suspended, with the transit terminal closed at 11 a.m. and scheduled to reopen on Tuesday morning.The city reminded the public that there are warming stations at the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre and Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre until 11 p.m., and the Barclay Room at the Owen Sound police station 24 hours a day.The city announced that recycling collection had been suspended, with Monday cardboard pickup cancelled for the month and to be picked up March 11. Monday’s cart pickup was cancelled and was to be picked up with Tuesday’s collection.Meaford closed its facilities, including the town offices, Meaford Hall, the library, the museum and arena, while garbage pickup was suspended for a day and transit services and crossing guard services were cancelled.Grey Highlands closed all its municipal facilities and offices, cancelled waste pickup and closed all its roads, while operators continued to work.Chatsworth also closed its municipal offices and late Monday morning all of its municipal roads were closed.West Grey and Southgate both closed their municipal offices.The Bluewater District School board closed all its schools, as well as its education centre in Chesley. The board also cancelled all community education evening programs and activities, including beginner driver education, at all Bluewater school locations.Grey County closed all of its offices, including Ontario Works satellite offices and van services, as well as the Grey Roots Museum and Archives near Rockford.The Grey Bruce Health Unit closed its offices before noon and cancelled all its clinics and classes.Georgian College closed its Owen Sound campus for the day.Grey Bruce Health Services closed its outpatient labs in Markdale, Meaford and Lion’s Head for the day, with additional updates to be posted on its website.Hospital outpatient labs are closed today in Markdale, Meaford and Lion’s Head due to poor weather conditions. Any additional updates will be posted. Thank you for your cooperation during this time.South Bruce Grey Health Centre closed its laboratories for outpatient collection in Cheslery, Durham and Walkerton on Monday, while the Kincardine site’s laboratory remained open. For all other scheduled appointments, patients were being asked to call ahead to confirm before coming in, or to cancel if it was unsafe to travel.Blue Mountain Resort announced on Monday morning that it was open, but with limited operations and staff due to the weather. The Orchard, Southern Comfort and Voyageur chair lifts and Explorer and Little Ripper magic carpets were all closed.In its blizzard alert, Environment Canada said the most significant aspect of the event was from the very poor visibility and high winds and not from snowfall accumulations. Total snowfall accumulations of five to 10 centimetres were possible.Motorists were being asked to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improved. Those who become lost should remain where they are until the blizzard has passed.Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emrgency plan and get an emergency kit and drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight, the warning stated.Blizzard warnings are issued when widespread reduced visibilities of 400 metres or less are expected for at least four hours, Environment Canada said.While the warning was expected to be lifted later Monday, flurries and snow squalls with local blowing snow was expected to continue into Tuesday. The chance of snow remains in the forecast for most of the next week.