The Significant Weather Event for the District of Muskoka remains in effect on December 29, 2022.
As warmer temperatures are expected this weekend, the District and partner municipalities are monitoring the forecast and taking additional precautions as this transition in weather begins.
The Weather: What’s Happening
The holiday snowstorm brought significant snowfall and heavy snowpack to Muskoka – when melting and warmer temperatures follow, this rapidly increases our chance of flooding, which can happen very quickly.
As they work together to clear snowbanks and widen roads, The District is also actively working alongside utility partners to ensure communities which remain without power are supported. The District recognizes that many members of urban and rural communities are challenged with hazardous and downed trees and utility disruptions and have been without power for several days – this December has been like no other.
Significant Weather Event: Remains in Effect
The Significant Weather Event was declared on December 23, 2022, and remains in effect. Muskoka received significantly more snowfall than other neighbouring municipalities, and The District continues to work day and night to recover.
Public Works crews are preparing in advance to battle the anticipated fluctuating temperatures – although warmer weather is welcome, it comes with risks.
Proceed With Caution
During the winter months, especially during a Significant Weather Event, we’re asking our community to only travel if necessary – and if so, please take a couple of extra steps.
- Winter tires, windshield wiper fluid (several jugs!), a full tank of gas, a winter car emergency kit (jumper cables, water, snacks, shovel, blankets), fully charged devices and a thorough check of your vehicle – are all a must, if you must head out.
- Slow down. Leave yourself extra time and avoid passing or following too close. The posted speed limit is in effect when conditions are ideal (i.e. the dry summer months) – drive according to road conditions. This often means far below the posted speed limit.
- Always turn your lights on – even during the day. Always use your signals – even when no one’s looking.
- If the power is out, signals at intersections will not work. Always treat them like an all-way stop – even if there are no cars around.
- Pay particular attention to roads that are snow-packed and sanded, not bare pavement. These will be especially susceptible to becoming icy.
- Pay special attention to icy bridges, overpasses and shaded areas; these will likely ice up quicker.
- Monitor the forecast – prepare for a temperature drop and a risk of flooding. These conditions can also cause potholes to form quickly – drive slowly and keep an eye on the conditions.
- When clearing snow from your driveway – please remember that catchbasins and drainage culverts must be kept clear, especially when we’re expecting warming temperatures. Blocked catchbasins or culverts can cause localized flooding on properties and can create hazards, especially when temperatures drop overnight.