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Hundreds rescued during whiteout conditions in Dufferin County

The OPP closed several roads northwest of Toronto and had to rescue more than 400 people stranded in their cars in whiteout conditions.

They were taken to warming centres in Orangeville, Shelburne and Honeywood late Friday night and early Saturday morning. As of noon, about 150 still hadn’t left.

And about 30 vehicles — including two fire trucks and an ambulance — were involved in a crash in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 near Cobourg. Officers said no first responders were hurt. The road will be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash, said Const. Karen German.

Police urged drivers to stay off the roads and said responding to motorists in this weather puts the safety of emergency workers at risk.

Even snowplows in both Dufferin County and the Cobourg area were taken off the roads because of the severe conditions and poor visibility.


Several other roads in the area were closed Friday night due to poor weather and visibility. Dufferin OPP says Highway 10, between Shelburne and Dundalk, Highway 89 from Shelburne to Mount Forest and Dufferin County Road 11 have all reopened. Dufferin County Roads 12 and 124 remain closed.

Heavy snow also blanketed large parts of the province, including the Bruce County area.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the GTA due to strong and gusty winds and blowing snow.

The agency said to expect 40-to-60-km/h wind and gusts up to 80 km/h near the lake on Saturday.

In open areas, visibility could be 500 metres or less.