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Updated: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 07:49:51 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Heavy snow hits Eastern Canada



Braving the blustery winter weather in Ottawa. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Braving the blustery winter weather in Ottawa. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Snowfall warnings are in effect for much of southeastern Ontario and Quebec this morning, as the season's first notable storm moves across Eastern Canada and the U.S.

Toronto has so far been spared the worst of the season's first notable storm. 

The city saw a few centimetres of accumulation overnight, and slightly more towards York and Durham regions. But according to Environment Canada, there could be up to 25 centimetres of snow in communities including Ottawa and Kingston, Ont. The nation's capital has already seen some 18 centimetres. 

Montreal is also bracing for about 25 centimetres as the storm moves in from New York state. It will then "intensify rapidly" as it moves toward western Labrador, according to Environment Canada. Wind and rainfall warnings are in effect for the Maritimes.

Drivers urged to slow down 

The storm has dumped more snow on the eastern U.S., disrupting some flights as many people head south for Thanksgiving. Travellers should check with their airline for the latest updates. 

Drivers, meanwhile, are reminded to give themselves lots of travel time and go easy on the gas. 

"The first snowfall of the year, nobody knows what to do with it — everybody speeds," said transport truck driver Richard Fraser, who is on the road Wednesday from Oshawa, Ont., to Ottawa. "There are no snow tires that aren't able to keep you from sliding, so you have to slow down." 

In Toronto, the temperature is expected to dip further below freezing during the day, which could lead to icy roads.

Peter Noehammer, the city’s director of transportation services, said mountains of salt and 200 trucks are standing by.

"We'll be out with our salters," he told CBC News. 

The province is also prepared for winter conditions on the 400-series highways and the QEW. Inside the highway traffic command centre, operators watch hundreds of cameras for problems.

"If they see something happening, they will focus the camera on the incident, and then direct first responders and maintenance workers to divert traffic and keep it going," said Astrid Poei of the Ministry of Transportation.

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