Near emergency-level snowfall in London, Ont.
Published Tuesday, December 7, 2010 7:49PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 3:22AM EDT
The Ontario city of London nearly declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after being inundated with three days of flurries and record levels of snowfall, but stepped back from the drastic measure at the last moment.
"We are satisfied we're not in an emergency situation and we've got everything under control, although there is still a lot of snow and more coming," mayor Joe Fontana said Tuesday.
With the southern Ontario city coping with snowfall as high as one metre in some places, Fontana shut down most city services Tuesday and appealed for employers to send workers home wherever possible.
Fontana urged residents to stay home whenever possible and the check in on elderly family members and friends.
"Hopefully it is going to be just another 24 or 48 hours, but who knows what may happen in that 24 or 48 hours," Fontana told reporters. "We are ready and prepared, and we are just asking for everybody to pitch in and help each and every citizen of this city."
Environment Canada says some areas of London saw up to 80 centimetres of snow on Monday. Another 20 or 30 centimetres was projected to fall Tuesday. Yet another 10 centimetres is expected Wednesday.
In comparison, London only received a total of 108 centimetres of snow between December 2009 and March 2010.
London's single day record snowfall was 57 centimetres, set on this day in 1977.
Snow clearing crews stayed out through the day, working to keep main streets and bus routes open.
Transit officials announced that buses would be pulled off of the roads at 3 p.m. because too many were getting stuck in the massive amounts of snow.
Officials also said ambulances were getting stuck on the roads.
Environment Canada warned that snowfall totals in excess of one metre were expected in some area regions affected by the three-day storm.
"We could start asking the guy upstairs to take it easy on us a little bit and maybe spread it out around the province a little bit more than just London, Ont., and 20 miles east and west of us; that would be helpful," Fontana quipped.
London wasn't left entirely alone, however, as other parts of southwestern Ontario received comparable levels of snow.
Snow squall warnings have been announced for an area stretching from Durham County southwest to Sarnia.
The area surrounding Barrie and Collingwood will also get snow squalls and experience icy conditions that will make travel dangerous.
About 20 centimetres is expected to fall there Tuesday, with winds gusts of up to 50 km/h.
Southwestern Simcoe Country has declared Tuesday a snow day for all students.
Toronto, Waterloo and the Peel Region have not been included in the weather warning, but still experienced typical winter weather.
Toronto managed to escape all but a few traces during the region's third day straight day of snowfall.
Toronto saw a few flurries through the morning with the possibility of more in coming the afternoon.
As much as eight centimetres fell on parts of the city on Monday, which was spared the worst of a winter blast felt by much of southern Ontario.