Ice poses challenge for roads crews and drivers

Icy parking lot in Haliburton

Rain and warm temperatures combined with an overnight freeze resulted in a blanket of ice covering some County roads and many backroads across all four municipalities Feb. 23 and Feb. 24
The County of Haliburton’s public works department reported most County-maintained roads were bare as of the afternoon of Feb. 23.
Manager of operations Sylvin Cloutier said in an email that sanding was “conducted according to the conditions and at times [was] challenging for staff.
Multiple Highlanders residents from all four townships posted about icy roads, specifically back roads and driveways, on Facebook Feb. 23 and Feb. 24. There were multiple accounts of cars that appeared to have slid off roadways.
Dysart’s manager of public works Rob Camelon said roads crews were out for more than 12 hours to address the slippery roads.
“We had several trucks stuck throughout the day, it certainly added to the time required to get around to all roads, there were no injuries or damage to equipment,” he wrote in an email.
Dysart’s public works office reported a “very high” call volume throughout the day. The department said many residents asked when sanding trucks would visit their roads. While the department is unable to pinpoint the exact times sanding trucks will address roads, the office added it can be valuable to alert the township when a vehicle is stuck or off the road, so municipal equipment operators are aware.

Constable Mike Melnychuk of the Haliburton Highlands OPP offered the following tips for drivers during icy weather:

– Check road conditions by visiting Ontario 511 (
– Carry a fully charged cell phone to contact emergency services if you experience trouble.
– In bad weather, reconsider unnecessary travel and stay home. If you do need to drive, please adjust your driving accordingly.
– Slow down and leave ample space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
– If you experience trouble, park your vehicle well off the roadway, if safe to do so, and stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
– Make sure your heater, defroster and all lights on your vehicle are working.
– Clear your vehicle of all snow and ice, fill up the windshield washer fluid, and keep your fuel tank at least half full.