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How Barrie, surrounding communities are preparing for this weekend’s storm

A winter storm of freezing rain, rain and strong winds is expected to hit Barrie and other surrounding communities this weekend, with local conservation authorities issuing statements about potential flooding.
A winter storm of freezing rain, rain and strong winds is expected to hit Barrie and other surrounding communities this weekend, with local conservation authorities issuing statements about potential flooding. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A winter storm of freezing rain and strong winds is expected to hit Barrie and surrounding communities this weekend, with local conservation authorities issuing statements about potential flooding.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has imposed a flood watch, while the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority has issued a flood outlook statement.

In response to the forecast storm, the city of Barrie and other nearby municipalities are preparing for what’s expected to be a soggy, icy weekend.

READ MORE: Freezing rain, strong winds expected this weekend in Barrie, Orillia, Midland areas: Environment Canada

“This weather event may result in flooding and/or power outages caused by significant ice buildup on electrical equipment, high winds and fallen tree limbs on overhead power lines,” Barrie officials say.

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The city of Barrie says all winter maintenance crews are on standby to address icy road conditions. Staff will monitor the weather closely, and the city says salters and sanders will be dispatched as needed.

“During this storm watch, both conventional and specialized transit services will continue to operate,” officials say of Barrie Transit. “However, the impact of this weather may cause service delays.”

Barrie officials say residents are responsible for damage done to trees on their private property. For any trees that have fallen down on city property,  residents can call Service Barrie at 705-726-4242.

READ MORE: ‘Possibility for flooding’ this weekend: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

During an electrical power loss, traffic signal displays at intersections will be either be blank or flashing red and yellow. Officials say to yield the right-of-way to vehicles in the intersection and to vehicles entering the intersection from the driver’s right.

If residents see a power line that’s down, officials say they should stay at least 10 metres away – roughly the length of a school bus – and call 911.

“The city of Barrie reminds all residents of the importance of having an emergency kit in the event of a sustained power outage,” officials say.

“It is recommended that emergency kits include medicine, first aid supplies, flashlights, new batteries, a battery-operated radio, a manual can opener, canned food, bottled water, blankets, food for pets and important telephone numbers for family doctors, schools, daycare and insurance companies.”

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Meanwhile, in Innisfil, town staff are working to prepare roads and draining solutions for increased rain.

“We are asking residents for assistance with clearing catch basins in their areas in an attempt to mitigate possible flooding,” town officials said on Facebook.

“One way you can help is by breaking up ice buildup at the end of your driveway and at road catch basins.”

In Orillia, officials say city staff have been working hard to open snow and ice-covered inlets into the storm system to give the rain that’s forecast somewhere to go. Staff will also be working throughout the weekend to address the predicted weather conditions.

“We will be pre-sanding/salting roads and sidewalks,” officials said on Facebook.

Environment Canada has said that travel will be affected throughout southern Ontario from Saturday and into Sunday.

Significant rain could turn to heavy freezing rain over the weekend in eastern Ontario
Significant rain could turn to heavy freezing rain over the weekend in eastern Ontario