Winter storm and freezing rain warnings issued for the Kawarthas

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As Environment Canada warns residents in southern Ontario of a "potentially historic ice storm" this weekend, a number of closures are in place and officials are taking precautions.

The special weather statement for the capital region remained unchanged Friday with a warning of a "messy mix" into Monday. This precipitation will turn to freezing rain by the evening, with a low of -2 C in the forecast.

As well, a rainfall warning and freezing rain alert were issued for Chatham-Kent and Rondeau Park by Environment Canada.

"Precipitation may start out as rain, but increasing northeasterly winds will draw colder air from an arctic high pressure system to the north, resulting in a changeover to freezing rain".

The agency says eastern Ontario can expect significant snow with ice pellets, with amounts of up to 15 or 20 centimetres likely by Saturday night. "Closer to the shores of lake Ontario is expected only rain".

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Rain will change to freezing rain, which is expected to persist into the evening, and may become mixed with ice pellets before tapering off to patchy freezing drizzle.

The ice storm warning means total ice accumulations of a half inch of ice are expected, making traffic hard and causing downed tree limbs and power lines. Total ice accumulations of around one-half inch are expected, the Weather Service said.

- McMaster University and Mohawk College are both closed Saturday because of the freezing rain warning for the region.

Bill Shea of Toronto Water advised residents to check on their eaves troughs before the storm hits.

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