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Major snowfall slows travel in and around London, Ont.

File photo of snow removal crews in the London. City of London / Twitter

Motorists in the London area faced “awful” conditions Wednesday as a Texas low moved into Ontario bringing abundant snowfall.

Snow fell throughout the morning hours before intensifying in the afternoon, limiting visibility and traction.

The timing of the snowfall created less-than-ideal conditions for commuters getting to and from work. The afternoon bluster, in particular, created slowdowns in the city and along Highway 401.

Ontario Provincial Police said there were several collisions during the morning commute in Middlesex County, with vehicles going into ditches and off the roadway. No injuries were reported from the morning incidents.

“In all the collisions this morning there were no personal injuries, just property damage related,” said Const. Jeff Hare.

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However, by mid-afternoon, the rate of incidents on the road increased.

While the total number of collisions for Middlesex County was not yet known, Hare said at 4:30 p.m. Middlesex OPP were responding to 15 active collisions on the road.

Hare said a couple of people were transported to hospital as a precaution, but added none of the injuries were considered serious.

Elgin County OPP officials said by 2:30 p.m. they had responded to at least 10 vehicle collisions.

“The majority of them have been single motor vehicle collisions, where no other vehicle has been involved,” said Const. Brett Phair.

“That is simply because drivers are not driving according to the weather conditions.”

At one point in the afternoon, Elgin OPP reported that while attending to the scene of a truck sliding off the 401 eastbound, their cruiser was struck by a second vehicle on the highway.

“We can not stress enough folks, the road conditions are awful,” said Phair at the time of the incident involving the OPP cruiser, adding no injuries resulted from that collision.

The city of London said crews were out by 7:30 a.m. plowing and salting roadways.

All school buses were cancelled on Wednesday in Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin Counties, as well as the red zone.

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When dealing with conditions like Wednesday, Hare says commuters should always budget more time than usual to accommodate slippery roads and reduced visibility.

“If you drive respectfully, with a slowed-down speed and don’t brake hard … you will get to where you are going,” said Hare.

One issue Hare said he encountered multiple times on the road Wednesday was improper front and tail lighting of vehicles.

“Either people don’t have their lights on or they’re in automatic mode and their taillights aren’t illuminated,” said Hare.

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