By Haldimand Press Staff
HALDIMAND—This past weekend saw a major snow storm descend on several regions within southwestern Ontario, with the Weather Network reporting some of the hardest hit regions buried in more than 100cm of snow.
While some regions in the area escaped the storm relatively unscathed, parts of Haldimand, including Dunnville and Selkirk, both of which sit next to Lake Erie, were hit hard.
The first signs of the storm were visible on Thursday, as squalls blowing off the lake created the year’s first major snowstorm for a number of communities on both the American and Canadian sides of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Across the border, the town of Orchard Park, south of Buffalo, New York, saw 186cm of snow, prompting the White House to send federal aid to help clean up the nearly six feet of snow that walloped western and northern New York.
While Ontario was largely spared the full wrath of the storm, blowing snow, icy roads, and strong winds made the weekend difficult for many in Haldimand.
On November 19, 2022 a Flood Watch was also issued for residents in Zone 1 along the Lake Erie shoreline, Port Maitland, and areas downstream of the Dunnville Dam. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) surge model forecast for the eastern end of Lake Erie at that time indicated a rise in lake levels of 1.85m (6.1ft) with the possibility of waves increasing the lake levels to a critical level of 2m (6.6ft) above chart datum of 173.5m. Members of the public are urged to use caution and stay away from Lake Erie shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas. Keeping a close watch on local weather conditions is recommended. Residents can look at the Flood Zone Mapping Tool at haldimandcounty.ca/floods to see if they are affected.
According to Farmer’s Almanac predictions for the 2022-23 winter season, Ontario is set to see colder-than-normal temperatures in addition to unpredictable weather patterns that could bring “plenty of snow, rain, and mush”.
The Canadian Red Cross society lists the following tips for staying safe in inclement weather:
- Install winter tires that can handle snow and ice.
- Pay attention to weather reports.
- Ensure your car windows, lights, and roof are cleared of snow before driving anywhere.
- Never attempt to pass a snow plow.
- Avoid hitting the brakes when skidding on ice, instead, steer into the skid and accelerate to keep the vehicle level on the ground.
- Keep a first aid kit in your car in case you are stranded.
- Dress appropriately for cold weather, change out of wet clothing as soon as possible.