Today we are expecting one of the most significant storms of the season. Between 30 – 40 cm of snow is predicted. We anticipate that snow will begin later this afternoon, with the largest accumulation starting this evening and overnight. Snow will be falling fast and furiously – more than 2 cm per hour, leading to a quick and significant accumulation. Extreme winds are expected to make conditions worse – causing local blowing snow, drifting and possible white-outs.
We are prepared to have all available resources out on main and arterial roads and sidewalks as soon as the first snowflake falls. Our teams will be in plows and graders to focus on clearing and salting those roads and sidewalks. Due to the speed at which snow will be falling, we expect to have to cover those roadways multiple times in order to keep them clear of snow. As resources become available, we will redeploy them into residential areas. This may lead to a delay in reaching residential roads, however is necessary to keep main roads open for traffic and emergency vehicles.
During a normal snow event, we expect to meet our Maintenance Quality Standards (MQS). However, during a large event like today and tomorrow, we will continue to keep roads safe, but may not reach the residential areas as quickly. We ask for your patience as we work through this significant snowfall.
We know it is snowing, and would ask for residents to resist making service requests at Ottawa.ca unless it is a true emergency. During these busy times, we will be delayed in getting to residential areas – but we will get there. When the weather is as significant as it is, our focus is on clearing the arterial roadways and keeping residents safe.
If residents are facing a true roads emergency, please make a Service Request at Ottawa.ca.
We would also ask residents to keep cars off the road, where possible, for the duration of the snow event. Parked cars are our biggest challenge to clearing roads efficiently. Where possible, residents who are able to, may wish to work from home.
We will keep you posted on our operations throughout the winter event. Thank you for your patience and please feel free to contact me with any questions.