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Spring snowstorm brings 18 cm of snow to Ottawa, knocks out power across eastern Ontario


The biggest snowstorm to hit the region in two months created slippery driving conditions in Ottawa, and left thousands of customers without power across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Ottawa received 18.6 cm of snow and 14.5 mm of rain during the storm on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ottawa police reported over 50 collisions so far today, including a double-decker OC Transpo bus sliding off the road on Frank Kenny Road. The bus driver was assessed at the scene. Ontario Provincial Police in Hawkesbury urged drivers to stay off the roads due to snow drifts and whiteout conditions.

A tow truck pulls a double-decker OC Transpo bus out of a ditch on Frank Kenny Road Thursday morning. Paramedics say one person assessed at the scene. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)

Environment Canada lifted the snowfall warning for Ottawa Thursday afternoon. 

School buses are running for English and French language schools in Ottawa, while buses were cancelled for the Upper Canada District School Board, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and in Renfrew County for schools in Zone 4 Madawaska. There was no school bus service for French-language schools in Brockville, Carleton Place, Almonte, Prescott-Russell, Marionville, Merrickville and Kemptville.

Commuters reported slushy road conditions across the city today. Officials with the city of Ottawa insist staff were ready to treat the conditions during the storm.

"Our crews are out there. Roads are mostly slushy, with some snow-covered turn lanes," Bryden Denyes, area manager of Ottawa roads, told CTV Morning Live on Thursday.

"Our crews are out there; we'll treat those conditions, we'll be looking at sidewalks throughout the day as well to make sure the transportation network is safe."

The spring snowstorm came as some people were already looking ahead to spring with a tire change. Staff at Kal Tire say customers have been coming in to remove the winter tires.

"Last couple of weeks, we've been doing a pretty crazy amount of tires actually," said Tyler MacPherson, Kal Tire senior assistant manager.

"We’ve been doing 30 to 40 cars a day. Almost all of those have been for new tires or tire changeovers."

Danielle Bogan was getting the tires changed while the snow fell outside.

"It was heavier in some spots; the roads are wet, but no snow on them at all," Bogan said.

"I was making the appointment several months ago, and I just figured I would come in any way."

Snow falls in the ByWard Market on Thursday, April 4. (Josh Pringle/CTV News Ottawa

Crash involving a school bus

No one was hurt when a vehicle collided with a school bus in Chelsea, Que.

The collision happened on Chemin de la Montagne at approximately 8:15 a.m.

Police say the driver of the school bus was unable to make a turn onto a side street, when they were unable to make the turn due to the slippery road conditions and was hit from behind by another driver.

There were 14 children onboard the bus at the time of the crash.

Police say both vehicles still had their winter tires on.

Power outages

Hydro Ottawa reported an outage affecting 1,256 customers in Ottawa's south end. The outage in the area of Big Dipper, Capricorn and Borbridge was expected to be restored by 4 p.m.

Hydro One says approximately 20,000 customers remain without power from Petawawa to Alexandria following the storm. 

Hydro Quebec says 15,758 customers remained without power in western Quebec Thursday afternoon, including 9,880 customers in Papineau. There is no word on when power will be restored.

Camp Fortune

Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Que. is closed for the day due to a hydro outage.

The popular ski hill had planned to open for a 'Snow Day at Skyline" due to the snow.

In a statement Thursday morning, Camp Fortune said "we tried."

"Today's snow day is cancelled due to a major power outage at Fortune and in Chelsea."

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Dave Charbonneau Top Stories

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