Significant Weather Events

The City of St. Catharines may declare a significant weather event when the weather forecast or actual weather conditions meet a certain criteria.

In the event of an emergency, or significant weather event, the City maintains a current emergencies page on the website 

What is a significant weather event?

As per the Ontario Municipal Act, a municipality may declare a significant weather event when a weather hazard, either forecasted or occurring, has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the roadways in which they have authority

This 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. 

In each case, during the course of a declared significant weather event, the standard for addressing winter maintenance is to monitor the weather and deploy resources to address the issue, starting from the time the municipality deems it most appropriate to do so. When the municipality declares an event has ended, standard timelines for winter maintenance activities then begin.

Conditions a significant weather event may be declared

  • Significant snow accumulation during a 24-hour period
  • Ice formation that occurs without warning from the weather forecast
  • High winds leading to blowing snow and large snow drifts
  • Freezing temperatures when de-icing operations will not be effective

The declaration of a significant weather event is not a notice of reduced service levels or a road closure. It is to notify the public that due to the forecasted or current weather conditions, caution is to be exercised when travelling on City streets and sidewalks, and that it may take longer than usual to restore the conditions back to a normal state of repair.

Notification of a significant weather event

In the event of a significant weather event, please check the following outlets for official information from the City of St. Catharines:

You can also monitor those channels to stay up to date with the City's snow removal and winter control activities.

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