Cold snap, high winds leads to downed trees across Durham Region and the GTA

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Published February 29, 2024 at 10:11 am

A 15-degree temperature swing and winds gusting up to 80km/hr caused more than a few frost-bitten ears to the unprepared – it also meant fallen trees and tree debris that caused chaos on the roads for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Durham Regional Police and works departments from towns all over the region were busy Wednesday responding to calls for downed trees, though it is unknown if the trees caused any property damage.

“Our communications team is experiencing a high level of calls for fallen trees due to the weather,” was the message Wednesday evening from Durham Police. “Please keep the following in mind; adjust your driving speed to match the weather conditions and if traffic lights are not functioning, treat it as a four-way stop.”

Temperatures peaked at near record-breaking 13 degrees earlier Wednesday but quickly plummeted, with high winds sending wind chills into the minus 20s and the sudden ice buildup making the roads and sidewalks slick and dangerous and knocking out power in some areas.

It was like winter and spring all in in a couple of hours, with the region the collision site of the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico meeting a cold Arctic front. Fallen trees and frost-bitten ears became the collateral damage.

After last night’s brutal cold snap, the chill and the snow are set to continue into today, with flurries persisting until noon.

Morning temperatures of -7 will warm up to -3 by the afternoon.

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