As per the Ontario Municipal Act, a municipality may declare a Significant Weather Event when a weather hazard, either forecast or occurring, has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the roadways in which they have authority. This declaration suspends timelines required for municipalities to meet their winter maintenance objectives.
Declarations may be the result of:
- Significant snow accumulation during a 24-hour period
- High winds leading to blowing snow and large snow drifts
- Freezing temperatures and ice formation that occurs without warning from the weather forecast
- During significant weather events, roads and sidewalks are deemed in a state of repair until the declaration has ended.
What does this mean to residents and businesses?
The Township will declare a Significant Weather Event when we are experiencing weather that may affect our ability to maintain Township roads at normal levels of service.
During a Significant Weather Event, roads and sidewalks will likely take longer to treat or clear than during a normal winter storm event. Residents will be urged to remain at home and avoid driving unless travel is essential.
The declaration of a Significant Weather Event does not indicate the closure of any roads; however, individual roads may need to be closed especially in areas with high drifting.
We will notify residents and businesses of the declaration through social media, news releases and on the Township’s website. We will also notify school boards, Durham Student Transportation Services, emergency services, radio stations and other key stakeholders.