People and Places

School buses, flights cancelled as Ottawa battered by freezing rain

Students celebrated and commuters cursed as Ottawa awakened to a snowy, icy, slushy mess on roads around the capital.

School buses across Ottawa were cancelled for the first snow day of 2016, though schools remained open. Gatineau school buses continued to run.

Several flights at the Ottawa Airport were cancelled, still more were delayed.

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And commuters faced a messy rush hour as treacherous roads made the morning drive slower than usual. Accidents were reported on the eastbound Highway 417 at Palladium Drive and also approaching St. Laurent.

The freezing rain was expected to continue throughout the morning, changing to rain around noon, when temperatures would begin climbing to a high of about eight degrees Celsius.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery,” said an alert from Environment Canada. “Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas. Utility outages may occur.”

There was a 40-per-cent chance that rain or flurries would continue Wednesday evening. Thursday’s forecast called for rain or flurries in the morning with a high of one degree Celsius.