Ice storm reminds everyone to stock up with emergency provisions and preparedness
MUSKOKA – The ice storm that has caused havoc across southern and a bit into Central Ontario has mostly spared Muskoka.
Power companies Veridian in Gravenhurst, Hydro One and Lakelands Power in Bracebridge and Huntsville report no major outages.
But the temperatures could still cause problems in the hours and days leading up to Christmas.
Homeowners are urged to be prepared with food, water, candles and other emergency provisions in case of any trouble ahead.
The main roads around Muskoka were mostly clear by noon Sunday, with only sideroads being more difficult to traverse.
Drivers are urged to stay off the roads unless travel is necessary – or stick to major highways if you must do Christmas travel.
Also, the OPP hope you will take a moment and read this newsletter provided by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) on winter driving tips and to make you aware of the 511 Travellers Road Information Portal (TRIP).
Do your part to keep our highways safe this winter by planning ahead and always driving according to weather and road conditions. And travel safely around snowplows to make it easier for maintenance crews to clear snow and ice from our roads as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Don’t expect clear and dry summer highway conditions in the winter
The Ministry of Transportation and its highway maintenance contractors work hard to keep Ontario’s highways clear and open to traffic during the winter. However, severe storms can exceed their ability to keep highways free of snow and ice. This may be caused by the amount of snow, timing or duration of the storm, high winds, freezing rain or a combination of all of these factors.
v Always drive according to weather and road conditions. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions- in poor conditions, reduce your speed.
v Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid having to brake suddenly. Increase your following distance on wet and slippery surfaces to allow more time to stop.
v Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, and postpone or cancel your trip if the weather does not improve.
v Winter weather conditions can change quickly, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills.
v Keep your focus on the road and on other vehicles around you.
v Eliminate all distractions and make sure you are well rested before your trip.
STAY IN CONTROL
v Make sure you know how to handle your vehicle in all weather conditions.
v Be familiar with your braking system and know how it reacts on snow and ice.
v Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions.
v Never use cruise control in winter weather.
v Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always check the blind spots before changing lanes.
v Avoid sudden moves by anticipating turns or lane changes. Abrupt changes in direction or slamming on the brakes could cause you to lose control.
v Remember that bridges and overpasses may be slippery even when other sections of the highway are not.
v Avoid braking on curves by driving through them at a safe, steady speed.
v Accelerate slightly when approaching a hill and maintain a steady speed going up.
v Take your foot off the brake if your vehicle begins to skid and steer in the direction you want to go. Remember your vehicle generally goes where you are looking. When the wheels regain their grip, brake firmly and smoothly.
Please view the following bilingual e-link to learn of the Ministry of Transportation Travellers Road Information Portal (TRIP) for road information on Provincial Highways in Ontario.
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