Snow squall warning ended, cold weather alert remains in place

A woman walks through falling snow in San Antonio, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on Sunday, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast, where snow and sleet were expected overnight. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A snow squall warning that is in place for the London area and several other local regions has ended.

Environment Canada had been calling for lake effect snow, that could be heavy at times, would come through the London area Tuesday afternoon that could remain overnight.

The bitter winter winds prompted health the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU), as well as Lambton Public Health, to issue cold weather alerts for their respective regions.

The MLHU said overnight temperatures and wind chill values for the next two days were expected to reach the health unit’s thresholds for issuing a cold weather alert.

Daytime temperatures on Wednesday are expected to reach a high of -6 C. The health unit said the cold weather alert will remain in place, as wind chill values are predicted to be as low as -26 in the morning.

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The City of London is opening the South London Community Centre (SLCC) as a warming centre for Londoners looking for relief from the cold.

Located at 1119 Jalna Boulevard, the SLCC will be open Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This location will provide a warm, indoor space as well as access to water. Other amenities within the centre will not be open.

In addition to the warming centre at South London Community Centre, the City of London offers two daytime drop-in warming spaces as part of the Winter Response Program for Unsheltered Londoners at the Hamilton Road Seniors Centre, 525 Hamilton Road from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m and at Talbot Street Church, 513 Talbot Street from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Both of the warming centres provide a warm space and access to basic needs, including boxed lunches, snacks, hot and cold beverages, and washroom access.

John Parsons, division manager of road operations for the city, said earlier Tuesday that crews had been out since midnight working to clear all of the snow.

“There is still a lot of snow out there and there is still a lot of work to do. I am sure we will be into it until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning as well,” he said.

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The squalls expected Tuesday afternoon and evening are expected to make travel hazardous, with reduced visibility and blowing snow.

Environment Canada urged motorists to “consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”

“We are asking for patience, there was an awful lot of snow in a short period of time so it will take some time to get through it and it will only improve with time.”

Read more: Significant snowfall leads to bus cancellations in London area

It’s recommended that people spending time outdoors take precautions and dress for the weather to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.

People are advised to dress in layers and shield exposed areas from the wind such as the head, neck and face.

A list of warming centres in London can be found here.

Lambton Public Health is expecting overnight lows around -15 C and is advising local agencies that provide shelter to homeless people to prepare for an increase in demand.

Click to play video: 'Homeless people eating inside an LRT station sent out into the bitter cold' Homeless people eating inside an LRT station sent out into the bitter cold
Homeless people eating inside an LRT station sent out into the bitter cold – Feb 15, 2021

The alerts in both regions are expected to remain in place until at least Wednesday afternoon when the Environment Canada forecast calls for temperatures of -6 C and windchill at -8.

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If you see someone outdoors who is in distress due to the cold, call London CAReS at 519-667-2273. If you feel the situation is a medical emergency, call 911.

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