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Freezing rain arrives: Schools closed in parts of GTA, power outage in Vaughan

CityNews | posted Thursday, Mar 24th, 2016

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A salt truck in Toronto on March 24. 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.

Icy conditions across the GTA prompted school closures and school bus cancellations, on the last day of class before the Easter long weekend.

Buses were cancelled for the Toronto District, Toronto Catholic, York Catholic, York Region District, Durham Catholic and Durham District school boards, but schools remained open.

All school buses were cancelled, and all schools and offices were closed in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District, Peel District, Halton District and the Halton Catholic District school boards.

Click here for updates.

More than 35,000 hydro customers in areas west and north of Toronto were without power early Thursday as freezing rain swept through the area.

However, by 7:15 a.m., PowerStream said power had been restored in Vaughan. Initially, 26,000 customers in Kleinburg, Maple and Woodbridge were affected by the power outage.

There are still power outages west of the city.

A freezing rain warning remains in effect for the GTA. Environment Canada said around 10-20 millimetres of ice accumulation was possible for some areas and warns that there could be a thick coating of ice on roadways, sidewalks, trees and power lines.

 Slippery roads and sidewalks in Toronto as freezing rain sweeps through the area on March 24, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.

The TTC also experienced streetcar delays because of icing on the overhead wires. Riders faced longer than normal travel times since the streetcars have to travel slower to maintain their contact with the overhead wires due to sparking. Extra buses were brought in to supplement service.

Toronto Conservation warns that water levels in creeks and streams will be higher than normal and could cause flooding. They advise people to be extra cautious around bodies of water, and pay close attention to kids and pets.

At one point, there were 114 cancelled flights at Pearson International Airport with lots of delays on top of that, and around nine cancellations at Billy Bishop airport.

Several flights have been cancelled or delayed at Pearson International Airport due to weather on March 24, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.

Several flights have been cancelled or delayed at Pearson International Airport due to weather on March 24, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.

Meanwhile, Ontario Hydro was working to restore power to more than 10,000 customers, primarily in the Fergus, Listowel and Cambridge areas, with restoration expected to be completed by around 8 a.m.

With reports from The Canadian Press

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