North of the Canadian city, the residents of Lucan are reporting a staggering 144 cm (57 in.) of snow on the ground. Some are predicting almost 200 centimeters (79 inches) may blanket the little burg before the storm abates.
South of Lucan, near Ilderton, a small sport utility vehicle carrying a family of four — including a four-year-old child and an 85-year-old senior — became mired in deep, drifting snow just after midnight Tuesday.
Two occupants left the vehicle and struggled through snow drifts up to two metres high to reach a home and call the OPP for help. It was after 4:00 a.m. by the time police managed to reach the stranded vehicle. Although the occupants were very cold when rescued, they were not suffering from hypothermia and did not require hospital treatment.
The heavy snow squalls have been streaming steadily off Lake Huron towards the London region since Sunday, blanketing the large Southwestern Ontario city with an abnormally heavy snowfall, just about shutting down the entire metropolitan area. Some parking meters downtown are almost submerged in snow and these meters stand about four feet high. Amazing.
The persistent snowfall has dumped up to 95 cm (37.5 in.) of snow on some London neighborhoods. Another 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in.) of snow is expected overnight. If the storm continues into late Wednesday as forecast, there may be a total accumulation of up to 140 cm (55 in.).
Bank branches closed early Monday and didn't open at all Tuesday. Many doctors and dentists, unable to open their offices, are busy rescheduling two day's worth of canceled appointments.
Tuesday afternoon, oddly enough, one could still buy a pizza in the London suburb of Byron, pick up beer at the LCBO and grab a bag of chips at the Metro grocery store. The big problem facing many customers was getting down their own street. Many roads remained unplowed Tuesday afternoon, plugged with deep, drifting snow.
Tuesday the city's three largest malls closed early for the second day in a row. By one in the afternoon, White Oaks Mall was officially closed with even Santa happy to go home as the mall was deserted with no children visiting old Saint Nick.
The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College have both canceled classes until Thursday.
The Weather Network
reports Sergeant Dave Rektor with the Ontario Provincial Police said conditions on area roads Monday were “extremely dicey.” Whiteout conditions caused by blowing, drifting snow made travel throughout the London region extremely treacherous.
The OPP responded to more than 300 accidents since Sunday when the westbound lanes of Highway 401 in south London were closed because of numerous collisions. Many transport trucks approaching the city from the east left the freeway at Dorchester and immediately found themselves trapped in traffic slowed by more than 20 cm (8 in.) of snow.
The city hasn't called a state of emergency, but it was considered. London has appealed to other cities, including Sarnia, Guelph and Ingersoll, to provide plowing crews and equipment. Digging out from this storm will clearly be a monstrous task. More than half the total snow expected over the entire winter season is hitting London over the span of four days. The cost of cleanup is expected to surpass $1 million.
London transit struggled to keep buses on their routes but was forced to yank the buses by late Tuesday afternoon. It is expected that service will be remain canceled Wednesday.
For some folk, simply seeing over the piles of snow bordering their driveways has become a major challenge. The snow can reach 185 cm (6 ft), or higher.
It seems safe to say that Southwestern Ontario will enjoy a white Christmas.