The Town of The Blue Mountains may declare a significant weather event when the weather forecast or actual weather conditions meet certain criteria. The following information provides an overview of frequently asked questions regarding a declared significant weather event.
Frequently Asked Questions
A significant weather event is an approaching or occurring weather hazard with the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the highways within a municipality.
As per the Ontario Municipal Act, the Town may declare a Significant Weather Event when the weather forecast or actual weather condition includes one or more but is not limited to one or more, of the following conditions:
- Environment Canada has issued an alert under its Public Weather Alerting Program
- Significant snow accumulation during a 24-hour period
- Ice formation that occurs with no warning from the weather forecast
- High winds leading to large snow drifts
- Cold temperature when de-icing operations will not be effective
The Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, made under the Municipal Act, 2001 gives municipalities the authority to declare a Significant Weather Event when a weather hazard is approaching or occurring and has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the highways in which the municipality has authority over.
When a municipality declares a Significant Weather Event, the declaration suspends the standard timelines required for municipalities to meet their winter maintenance objectives. All roadways and/or sidewalks are deemed in a state of repair with respect to snow accumulation and/or ice conditions until the municipality declares the significant weather event has ended.
During a declared Significant Weather Event, the standard for addressing winter maintenance is to monitor the weather and to deploy resources to address the issue starting from the time the municipality deems it appropriate to do so.
A declaration of a Significant Weather Event is not a notice of road closures. The declaration is to notify the public that due to current or forecasted conditions, caution is to be observed when travelling on the municipality’s roads and sidewalks, and that it may take longer than usual to bring the condition of the roads and sidewalks back to optimal conditions.
However, residents are urged to remain at home and avoid driving unless travel is necessary when a Significant Weather Event is declared.
In the event that a Significant Weather Event is declared, the Town will, within its best efforts, communicate applicable details to the public through the following methods of communication:
- Posting a notice on the Town website
- Sharing the notice onto the Town's relevant social media accounts (Twitter: @townofbluemtns)
- Distributing a media release to local news outlets
- Notifying the Town’s contact at the local OPP detachment
Public notifications will be managed by the Communications Division. The Town will take best efforts to ensuring that roads are at its optimal condition. If a Significant Weather Event is declared, please use caution when travelling on the roads and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.