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Snow underway, as Hamilton and Niagara brace for winter storm

Snow has started in Hamilton and Niagara, with high winds and 15 to 25 cm of snow on the way.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the area. 

The snow began this morning, and is expected to taper off tonight. Northesast winds up to 60 km/h may create blowing snow and cold temperatures near -20 C.

Don’t drive unless you have to — roads may be hard to navigate, with near zero visibility at times, the agency warns. The Hamilton Airport is reminding people to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has closed all schools and administrative buildings this weekend due to the weather. This includes all weekend events, such as continuing education programs and community rentals in HWDSB schools, the board says.

CBC Hamilton will be covering the storm today. Follow our live blog below for tweets and updates.

How are you dealing with the winter weather? Tweet your storm photos and updates to @CBCHamilton or email hamilton@cbc.ca.

City prepares for snow clearing

Stay inside where it’s safe, said Bob Paul, Hamilton’s manager of roads and maitenance.

The city has prepared its snowplows and salting units, he said. 

You can track the city’s snowplows here on an online “plow tracker.” You can also see a street’s snow clearing priority level here.

Snowy roads on Redhilll Parkway at the Greenhill overpass. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

Paul asks people to keep their cars off the streets so it’s easier to clear the roads.

Hamilton has 101 in-house snowplows and 46 contracted plow trucks, Paul said — plus more than 300 other pieces of snow-removal equipment if need be. 

Cold weather alert

The fire department also reminds people to keep exit doors free from ice and snow, he said.

Make sure outdoor vents for your furnace and water heater are clear, he said, and keep fire hydrants clear in front of your property.

Areas north of Hamilton and Burlington should expect “considerably less” snowfall, says Environment Canada.

Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health has also issued a cold weather alert, with freezing temperatures expected to hit the city on the heels of the snowstorm.

The weather alert will be in effect for Saturday evening when Environment Canada says the temperature will fall to –14 C with the windchill near –23 C.

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