Officials say the city of Ottawa’s full fleet full fleet of snow clearing vehicles are out in full force to clean up from Monday’s blizzard, which dumped 38 cm of snow and counting on the city.
The city urged residents to stay off the roads and sidewalks as much as possible, given the accumulation.
Officials warn it will be Monday evening or Tuesday morning before you will see snowplows on some residential streets.
In an update Monday afternoon, transportation committee chair Coun. Tim Tierney said arterial and primary routes are the main focus during the day, with cleanup on residential streets expected to start late in the evening and overnight.
Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning for Ottawa. By 11 a.m., the Ottawa Airport had seen a record 38 cm of snow. The snow is not expected to stop falling until late in the evening.
Quentin Levesque, acting director of roads and parking services for the city of Ottawa said the speed at which the snow came down Monday morning created significant challenges.
“Between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., we were seeing accumulations in the range of 5 cm up to 12 cm in some areas of the city per hour,” he said. “This proves very difficult for staff to keep up, as far as clearing the snow from our sidewalks, roadways and our winter cycling network.”
A 24-hour parking ban is in effect between 7 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Tuesday, and there was no garbage, recycling and green bin pickup on Monday due to the snow.
City staff declared a “Significant Weather Event” Sunday, warning the city “will not be meeting our winter maintenance objectives” during the storm, and “snow-clearing operations will take longer than usual.”
Ottawa’s mayor is preaching patience as city crews work to clear the snow.
“Every street can’t be plowed first,” Jim Watson told CTV Morning Live on Monday. “People will tweet me all day saying my street isn’t plowed. Unfortunately, we have to prioritize.”
Work on residential streets is slated to begin later in the evening and overnight once the snow tapers off, Levesque said.
“Into this evening, we will be transitioning into our residential neighbourhoods to begin cleanup of those residential streets,” he said. “We’re likely looking at overnight into tomorrow in order to complete that work.”
Levesque cautioned that the amount of snow will prove challenging for crews on residential streets.
“With a storm of this magnitude and the amount of accumulation, it is difficult and challenging for our equipment to push through that amount of snow,” he said. “It does take quite a bit more time to clear all of our residential streets with that amount of snow on them.”
Residents are asked not to shovel the snow from their driveways into the street, but to the sides. Any garbage or recycling that is being put out should be moved back away from the curb. Residents who are able can also clear catch basins and fire hydrants. Residents are also reminded to clear away snow from hot water and furnace vents and from the top of vehicles.
“With the amount of snow, we ask residents to use caution,” said Tierney. “Obviously, you don’t want to overexert yourself when you’re out there.”
Levesque said there were no reports of the snow affecting emergency services, but crews would be ready to provide any assistance, if needed. The COVID-19 pandemic has also not impact snow clearing staffing levels at this time.
Alain Gonthier, director of Roads and Parking Services with the city of Ottawa, said all staff and contractors are fully compliant with the city’s mandatory vaccination policy.
OC Transpo warns transit users may see delays on routes on Monday.
“Please allow extra time for your travels and take care when boarding, exiting, and at station platforms,” said OC Transpo.
For the Confederation Line, OC Transpo says additional resources, including specialized equipment and extra staff, are brought in to ensure service continues to operate.
PARKING BAN IN THE CITY OF OTTAWA
The city of Ottawa has issued a 24-hour parking ban, from 7 p.m. Monday to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Only vehicles with on-street parking permits can park on city streets during a parking ban.
“This is very uncommon that we call such a lengthy parking ban. The reason for that is just because of the intensity of the event and our ability to manage our resources between how much we can do in residential areas and the priority network,” said Gonthier.
“We’re not going to be in a position to start residential areas until we have a better handle in terms of the condition of our priority networks.”
GARBAGE AND RECYCLING COLLECTION
There will be no curbside or multi-residential green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Monday due to the storm.
The city says Monday’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, and all collection will be delayed by one day all week.
OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES
Ottawa Public Library branches will be closed on Monday.
All bookmobile and homebound deliveries are also cancelled.
COMMUNITY VACCINATION CLINICS
All Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 community vaccination clinics will be closed on Monday due to the snow.
In a statement, Ottawa Public Health says due to the anticipated “significant snowfall event” and to ensure the safety of residents, all COVID-19 community vaccine clinics will be temporarily closed.
“Those with appointments are being contacted directly,” said OPH on Twitter.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce said COVID-19 assessment centres would be closed early on Monday.
- The Ray Friel COVID-19 Testing Centre closed early at 11:30 am.
- The Moodie COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre will close early at 1 p.m.
- The COVID-19 Assessment Centre for Adults at Brewer Park Arena will close early at 3 p.m.
- The CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic at Brewer Park Arena will close early at 3 p.m.
- The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb and the North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre have temporarily closed today.
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