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Forecasted freezing rain sees buses, exams cancelled again

Ice coats a crosswalk sensor in Ottawa on Jan. 5, 2023. Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings for the region on Wednesday and again on Thursday. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC - image credit)
Ice coats a crosswalk sensor in Ottawa on Jan. 5, 2023. Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings for the region on Wednesday and again on Thursday. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC - image credit)

Many school bus services across the region are cancelled for the second day in a row due to freezing rain in the forecast, with some exams also being pushed back.

Environment Canada says freezing rain is expected this morning, progressing into rain or freezing rain mixed with snow this afternoon.

Significant ice buildup of five to 10 millimetres is expected to accumulate over several hours, setting the conditions for dangerous travel and power outages.

Due to the forecasted weather, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) and the Renfrew County Joint Transportation Consortium (RCJTC) have cancelled bus service.

But the Consortium de transport scolaire d'Ottawa (CTSO) has made no such broad sweeping announcement.

On social media, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board says that means no secondary school exams will be held today, either.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says the exams that had already been rescheduled for today will now be held on Monday.

The weather announcement from Environment Canada comes as the city recovers from a night of freezing rain that forced similar cancellations yesterday, as well as the closure of the Rideau Canal Skateway just five days after one section opened.

Back-to-back storms create unique challenge

Given the lack of recovery time from the previous storm, Environment Canada says it's important to treat the ice that didn't melt on Thursday.

"It's important to take the time now while the area is clear to mitigate the risks for tomorrow," said Steven Flisfeder, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

On top of the increased risk, tomorrow afternoon's forecast calls for mixed precipitation, which can come with its own set of dangers.

"Any untreated surfaces with an extra layer of snow on top can become extra slippery," Flisfeder said. "You're certainly going to want to take precautions in the afternoon."