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Early spring storm brings heavy rain, high winds and snow to parts of Ontario

An early spring storm is bringing high winds and heavy rain to parts of Ontario as Environment Canada warns of significant snowfall in other parts of the province. A pedestrian walks on a rainy day in Toronto on Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO — A spring storm pelted swaths of Ontario with heavy rain and high winds on Wednesday, knocking out power to thousands of people and threatening to bring major snowfall to regions in the east. 

Environment Canada said snowfall starting late Wednesday afternoon could dump up to 20 centimetres on Ottawa and the surrounding area through Thursday, with the heaviest snow expected overnight. 

For areas further northwest, including Algonquin Park and Petawawa, total snowfall could hit 30 centimetres. 

"Snow will taper in intensity through the day Thursday," the agency's snowfall warning said. 

Thousands were without power Wednesday as Hydro One said some crews in the north were beset by delays from weather-related road closures and dangerous driving conditions. 

"We have mobilized crews from other parts of the province along with our contractors to assist with restoration efforts," read an update on the utility's website Wednesday. "However, we anticipate additional outages will occur as high wind gusts and rain continue to move east."

Snow was expected to continue through Thursday morning for areas north of Sudbury. The agency called for up to 25 centimetres and warned of potentially difficult travel conditions.

The Greater Toronto Area saw periods of heavy rain and wind gusts that topped 70 kilometres per hour Wednesday. Environment Canada said it was possible rain in the area could turn to snow Wednesday night, but it was not expected to be significant. 

The agency said a stretch of central Ontario from Parry Sound up to North Bay was expected to see rain turn to snow Wednesday night, with several centimetres of accumulation possible before precipitation tapered off Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2024. 

The Canadian Press

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