Ice storm expected in Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines; flood warning as well


Published February 21, 2023 at 7:02 pm

An ice storm could hit Hamilton and the Niagara communities of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Welland at some point on Wednesday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a weather advisory for the region, and the Hamilton Conservation Authority has also put out a flood warning. On the first count, ECCC is warning snow or ice pellets may begin to fly tomorrow afternoon (Feb. 22), before changing to freezing rain later in the night, as the temperature dips to around -2C with the windchill making it feel around -9C. All of that could create ice build-up on roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Northeasterly winds gusting 50 to 70 km/h are also forecast, with strongest wind gusts expected for exposed areas downwind of Lake Ontario.

“Extensive power outages and tree damage are likely in the worst hit areas,” ECCC stated on Tuesday night.

The ECCC also advises motorists to slow down driving in slippery conditions, and be aware of a significant effect on rush-hour traffic in urban areas. Brances and electrical wires can also break under the weight of ice, placing obstructions on roadways and sidewalks.

The flood warning issued by HCA is in effect for both Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 23). The conservation authority notes that the high, gusting winds could cause a maxiumum wave height of 2.3 metres (seven feet, six inches). It is advising people to stay away from the lakefront until further notice.

“There is an increased risk of significant localized flooding and erosion along Hamilton’s shoreline, due to the storm surge and wave action caused by these winds,” HCA stated.

“Residents living along the Lake Ontario shoreline are urged to prepare accordingly and to pay close attention to wave conditions and lake levels. HCA wishes to remind all residents to stay away from lakefront areas during this time, as high winds and wave action may pose significant flooding, erosion, and public safety hazards.”

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