Residents urged to use caution during winter weather event

By Elisa Nguyen
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Town of Fort Frances Operations and Facilities Division declared a significant winter weather storm that could pose a risk to the users of the roadways and sidewalks and warn residents to avoid driving if possible.

This Significant Weather Event declaration came into effect at 15:00 on Tuesday, April

4, 2023. Residents will be notified about the ending of the event as soon as possible, the town said in a press release.

Cody Vangel, Transportation Superintendent for the Town of Fort Frances, said they have been monitoring five different weather forecasts and expect to see significant snowfall and wind gusts over the next day.

“So generally, what I’m looking at is snowfall in the range of 20 to 30 centimeters over the next 24 to 36 hours, depending on which forecast you can look at. It does indicate significant wind gusts coming through various periods of the system, which can be at 50 kilometers an hour.”

Residents are asked to limit their use of roadways and sidewalks for the safety of the public. Furthermore, all on-street parking is prohibited between the hours of 7:30pm and 7:30am with the exception of the Downtown core. The public is asked to stay clear of work areas to allow Town crews to address accumulation on the roadways and sidewalks.

“It’s definitely recommended in an event like this to limit driving on the roads or walking on the sidewalks, just to mitigate risk and allow our crews to simply address the conditions as effectively as possible,” said Vangel.

He added that it is a priority to keep roads open to maintain access for emergency vehicles.

With upcoming weekend activities in store, such as the town’s 9th annual Easter Egg-stravaganza, Vangel said the town will do their best to work with organizers to ensure that events can still run as smoothly and safely as possible.

“Definitely, with a system like this and the expected snow, it certainly could have an impact on winter events or weekend events like that. But we will do our best to try and work with those event organizers, though, noting this is going to be a very significant storm. We will certainly do our best,” he said.

Residents can stay tuned for updates on the winter storm at 93.1 The Border. Also, residents can call the Operations and Facilities Division Office at 274-9893 with any questions or concerns. This declaration is in accordance with Ontario Regulation 239/02 as amended.