TORONTO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A massive snowstorm walloping the southern parts of Ontario, Canada's most populated province, has left three people dead and shut down numerous schools and businesses Friday.
The storm, a combination of fast-moving winter storm from the Rocky Mountains, called the "Alberta Clipper," mixed with a Texas low pressure system, intensified overnight Thursday and brought more than 30 cm of snow in the region by late Friday afternoon, according to Environment Canada.
In Toronto, Canada's largest city, 600 snowplows were dispatched to clear the roads, as the sidewalks became too difficult to walk on due to the hefty layers of snow. Meanwhile, hundreds of flights in Toronto's Pearson International Airport had to be canceled as the poor weather conditions worsened throughout the day.
Many flights to U.S. Northeast were grounded as well, since the snowy weather could potentially bring a historic one-meter of snow along the stretch of New York and Boston area.
The snowfall is expected to ease up by late Friday night, as the storm passes through eastern Ontario and into the Atlantic provinces.
By Friday morning, the treacherous winter conditions has resulted in three deaths in Ontario alone, with the earliest reported being an 80-year-old woman, who collapsed in front of her house while shovelling the snow in her driveway.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported two more fatalities on the province's busiest highways, as two major collisions brought parts of the freeways to a grinding halt.
In total, the OPP reported over 300 vehicle collisions in the province by the day's end.
According to transportation officials, most of the accidents happen on the highway ramps, which prevented snowplows from removing the snow and slush, making the driving conditions worse.
The Ontario blizzards, however, will pale in severity to the storm in the Atlantic Provinces on Saturday, as the moving system is likely to merge with the New England storm and grow in intensity.
The new system is expected to bring upwards of 40-cm snowfall in the Maritimes.