Thank you to everyone for your patience yesterday! We had crews out all day and night plowing, clearing snow and applying salt/abrasives.
We completed one full run in our residential areas. Our ability to work through the roadways was greatly improved by the lack of parked cars on roadways. Thanks to you all for getting the message out and to residents who responded to the call.
By late afternoon, residents should have seen a significant improvement in the roads and sidewalks in their communities.
Today, our teams will continue with the clean-up. As we have learned from the past few events, winter operations happen in stages. We begin with major and arterial roads and sidewalks, keeping them clear and safe for residents, then we move into residential area and work to clear bus stops. Due to the volume and weight of the snow received yesterday, operations from this storm will continue for several days.
Today we will continue working on clearing snow and widening roadways. A clean up of residential streets is planned.
Yesterday, the volume of snow required us to switch from our traditional sidewalk plows to use blowers instead. While the blowers are highly effective for clearing the sidewalks and lifting the snow over the banks, the machines are much slower (up to 50 per cent slower) and do not clear as cleanly as a plow. Blowers leave a residual layer of snow that can be packed down and become uneven or slippery. We will be working to treat the sidewalks with abrasives today, but we do ask that residents exercise caution while walking.
As you can also imagine, we are fighting another battle in the city…where to put all that snow! Right now, banks are high and roads may be narrower than we would like. Planning and scheduling is underway for removal in some areas, but in others, we will be casting snow (blowing it from the road or sidewalk onto the City boulevard). We may also push back snow from the roadside to provide more road width or to lower banks if they are impeding the sight line at an intersection. In other areas, we will have no choice but to haul the snow away. However, this is a process that takes considerable time and resources and we ask residents to be patient and avoid calling 3-1-1 unless there is a true emergency.
Clearing the roads and opening catch basins will be critical as we are anticipating another event tomorrow. Rising temperatures could cause localized pooling of water in some areas, which could freeze creating difficult conditions once again.
We have every available resource working on addressing the Roads situation. Our partners in Parks and Forestry, as well as our Fleet colleagues were on the road with us yesterday to get the job done. We will continue to have a full complement of staff working around the clock to keep Ottawa’s roads and sidewalks safe.
Thank you again for your patience and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.