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City urges caution after ice storm

The city has issued an advisory asking people to exercise caution when going outside in the aftermath of the weekend’s ice storm.

Though city buses were running on schedule, as of 11:45 a.m. Monday, Guelph Transit was without access to phone, email and social media, a news release said.

“The city is working on fixing the problem but it may take eight hours before full phone service is restored,” it said. People needing to contact Guelph Transit are advised to call 519-822-1811 and press 1 to leave a message for Mobility Services or press 0 to leave a message in Guelph Transit’s general mailbox, as mailboxes are being monitored.

People are being asked to be patient as public works and Guelph Hydro crews address icy residential roads and sidewalks, downed trees and power outages across the city, the release said.

The following is the city’s list of safety tips:

• Drive 30 km/h on residential streets, which are still icy and slick. City crews continue to clear and salt the roads. Please use extra care while navigating around crews at work.

• Drive according to road conditions, pack an emergency car kit, view caution tape like a road closure, and treat any non-functioning traffic signals like a four-way stop.

• Call 911 to report downed power lines, stay clear and be patient as Guelph Hydro and City crews respond.

• Report downed trees by calling Public Works at 519-837-5628 and be patient as calls are prioritized.

• Stay out of parks and treed areas, as trees continue to be impacted by ice and may fall or lose branches. Clearing downed trees and branches remains a priority for City staff.

• Move cars off the street to make room for salt trucks, and help clear storm drains in residential areas.

• Be careful when walking. It will be about 48 hours before sidewalks are cleared and treated with salt. Be a good neighbour, if you have salt available, help treat icy sidewalks in your neighbourhood.

• Be cautious around waterways and ponds as temperatures hover around freezing.

• Do not use outdoor appliances indoors; barbecues and patio heaters can cause lethal carbon monoxide build-up.

• Once the storm is over, bring fallen branches and trees from private properties to the Waste Resource Innovation Centre, 110 Dunlop Dr., for free disposal during public drop-off hours.

• City hall will continue to be open all night for anyone who remains affected by power outages. The West End Community Centre is no longer serving as a warming centre and is back to regular operating hours.

The Sleeman Centre and River Run Centre will remain open as long as they have power.

The Sparkles in the Park event at Riverside Park is canceled temporarily. The light display will reopen as soon as the city gives Rotary club members the OK. Club members are hopeful that the fireworks display will be able to go ahead as planned on New Year’s Eve.

“We’re working as fast as we can to make sure people can travel through the city safely, but it’s going to take some time,” Shawn Armstrong, general manager of emergency services, said in the release. “We’re asking for people’s patience.”

The City may continue to experience downed power lines as branches fall. Please check to make sure your 72-hour emergency kit is ready and well stocked.

The City’s winter maintenance service helps ensure community safety every day, and during this exceptional weather event. City emergency management staff will continue to monitor this situation as it evolves, and provide updates to the community.

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