As predicted, the snow began yesterday, mid-afternoon, and this morning there are more than 30 cm of snow on the ground. We anticipate that snow will continue throughout the day – although at a much slower rate. The strong winds will continue to cause blowing snow, drifting and possible white-outs.
This has been an exceptional snow event, and we can confirm that all available resources; City staff, contractors, pieces of equipment and all departmental supports, are working on snow clearing efforts.
Our operations continued throughout the evening and overnight. We continue to clear the major routes and arterial roads and sidewalks to keep them safe for residents This is an on-going process that will continue throughout the day. We began a residential road clearing run this morning between 7-8 am. We want to remind residents that the parking ban remains in effect and roads are to be kept clear of cars to facilitate a more efficient road clearing process.
At this time, we have plows, graders and blowers out to remove the snow. As you can appreciate, with the quantity of snow we have received, in many areas we will have to blow the snow off the road or sidewalk. The volume of the of the snow is significant, as is the weight, and we need to physically move the snow up and over the existing banks. Snow removal will occur and we are working through the planning and scheduling stage. At this time, we are focused on cleaning the roads and sidewalks to keep them as safe as possible.
We will be applying salt and abrasives to roads and sidewalks. As the temperatures rise, and the snow is removed from the roads and sidewalks, the salt will be more effective in preventing an icy bond on the road surface.
We would ask for residents to support efficient snow clearing by:
- Keeping cars off the road wherever possible – the parking ban remains in effect;
- Sidewalks will take longer to clear due to the volume of snow and our need to use blowers – please be patient and be cautious while walking;
- Giving our vehicles space to operate – please do not pass on the right or crowd the vehicles; and
- Only calling 311 if it is a true emergency – we know it is snowing and we are doing our best to get to your neighbourhood.
We anticipate that residents will notice significant improvements throughout the day and evening. It is likely that we will need to make more than one pass (or clearing run) of our residential areas, and we will be doing continuous passes of our major roads and arterials. As we know from the previous storm events this month, clean-up is not a one-day event but will be on-going all week long.
We appreciate your patience and support of our road teams. They have been out around the clock, and non-stop since January 19.