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Snow cripples roads

  • Two trucks and a pickup collided on Highway 40 eastbound Friday morning in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
    Two trucks and a pickup collided on Highway 40 eastbound Friday morning in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
    Photo credit: Peter McCabe/The Gazette

A major snowstorm, complicated the morning rush for many off-island residents.

Two trucks and a pickup truck collided on Highway 40 eastbound in Vaudreuil-Dorion, near the merge with Highway 30, causing the highway to close briefly. It was reopened around 10 a.m.

The storm warning for the U.S. Northeast forced many flight cancellations Friday morning to major destinations in that region from Trudeau Airport — with departures for Toronto also eliminated.

A blowing-snow forecast issued by Environment Canada means the Montreal and Laval regions won’t escape this round of winter’s wrath, with a total snowfall of about 10 centimetres expected along with “near zero visibilities” Friday afternoon.
Montreal’s morning rush hour was marked by treacherous road conditions and a rash of vehicle accidents.

Highway 10 at Chambly was closed briefly in the westbound direction due to an accident involving five vehicles.

Two cars collided on Highway 112 near Marieville and one woman was critically injured. In the Laurentians there were numerous cars off the road but no injuries. “These are what we call pull outs, the car gets towed and off they go,” said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Gino Paré.

However, by far the brunt of the disruption was being felt or anticipated to the south.

Schools across New England have closed.

About 2,600 flights have also been scratched as the Northeast hunkers down for a storm poised to dump up to 60 centimetres of snow. Wind gusts were expected to reach 120 km/hr. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in October.

Boston could get more than 60 cm of snow, while New York City was expecting between 25 and 35 cm.

Amtrak said in a service alert issued late Thursday that its Northeast train service between Boston and New York City will be halted Friday afternoon.

In New England, this could prove to be among the top 10 snowstorms in history.
Meanwhile, Ontario braced for what forecasters say could be that province’s worst snowstorm in more than four years, with police warning of treacherous driving conditions.
Toronto can expect up to 15 cm, while regions as far west as London and as far east as Kingston may see upwards of 30 cm.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport has posted a travel advisory on its website, urging passengers to check flight information before heading for the airport. Many flights there have also been cancelled.

School buses in many areas were cancelled, while police are asking motorists to drive for the conditions and be prepared for the unexpected.

Environment Canada said snow accumulation will be heavier along the U.S. border, and where Quebec borders Ontario, with “up to 20 or 25 cm” expected.

Flight-departure cancellations from Trudeau Airport included Air Canada flights normally headed for Newark and LaGuardia airports serving the New York area, along with flights by United and Delta airlines. Delta scrapped a 12:59 p.m. flight from Dorval to Atlanta.
Air Canada’s 3 p.m., 5:50 p.m. and 8 p.m. flights from Dorval to Boston have also been cancelled. Arrivals that had been scheduled for Dorval from Toronto, Chicago, New York and Washington Dulles airports were also cancelled.
JAN RAVENSBERGEN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND THE CANADIAN PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

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