Flash freeze to hit Ottawa Friday afternoon
Published Friday, January 12, 2018 1:05PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 13, 2018 4:19PM EST
After a midday high around 12 degrees, the temperature in Ottawa and surrounding areas plummeted Friday with a flash freeze warning in effect.
The daytime rain left puddles that froze as the temperature dropped throughout the day and into the overnight. Up to 15 cm of snow fell on the region.
During that time, Ottawa Police say they recorded more than 130 collisions on the roads.
We got a nice layer of snow back on and as you can tell it's -35 outside with wind-chill factor right now so what you think is just snow, once you get down below that you have ice to deal with as well," said Sgt. Mark Gatien.
"You put your breaks on and the snow is helping you slow down, but your tires get to the ice underneath and into the ditch they go," he added.
The City of Ottawa says crews are clearing catch basins so melted snow drains before the flash freeze and encouraged residents to clear catch basins nearby.
The flash freeze forced the cancellation of Speed Skating's Provincial Championship at the Brewer Park Oval. The rain combined with the snow and freezing rain made ice conditions unsafe.
"There is major damage on the left side of us here and it's going to take quite some time, probably another week to get it ready," said Pete Gauthier, a volunteer who helps maintain the ice.
The cancellation came as a big disappointment to skaters who have been training all season for this event.
"It means we will have to work that much harder, in a much shorter amount of time, for skaters to be able to show themselves at the Canadians and Canada Cup coming up later in January," said Mike Rivet, the head coach of the Gloucester Concordes.
Outdoor rinks across the region suffered a similar fate. The Fosterbrook Park Rink in Barrhaven, for example, has to be re-build from the ground up.
"I've been through a few freeze-thaw cycles, but usually the base survives well and sometimes it makes it better," said Luc Lafreniere, who maintains the ice. "Last night was epic and I don't think much survived at all."