Seaway residents digging out as winter storm hits the region

Residents along the seaway woke up to a new layer of heavy, wet snow, as the latest winter storm slowly moved across eastern Ontario.

Environment Canada reported 10 cm of snow in Brockville and Kingston as of 1 p.m., and snow continued falling throughout the afternoon. As of 4 p.m., some areas had between 12 and 15 cm of snow.

Kingston resident Doug Caughey was thanking his snowblower for doing most of the heavy lifting, as he cleared his 100-foot long driveway. 

“It’s heavy snow and the blower will take it out easier than my shovelling,” Caughey said. “We want to get it done before the mail girl comes along so that she’s able to get in off the road safely.”

For Brockville resident Larry Clarke, this was his third time shovelling his driveway.

The snow is just too wet for his snowblower.

“Well, I’m just afraid of breaking something,” he told CTV News. “It’s heavy and wet!”

For others, a shovel was the only tool they had. 

“We’ve got to get it moved before it freezes,” said Dan Roode, helping a neighbour clean out her driveway. 

“This is how you pay for last night with that warm fuzzy feeling, looking out the window, snow coming down, Christmasy, you gotta get what you pay for!”

Ontario Provincial Police reported no major closures along area highways, with most calls related to single vehicles in the ditch.

According to OPP A/Sgt. Erin Cranton, officers dealt with a tractor trailer which slid into the centre median on Highway 401 near Reynolds Road Thursday night, another in the ditch on Highway 7 near Mississippi Mills, and a jackknifed transport near Oxford Station on Highway 416 around 5 a.m. on Friday. 

“(It’s) important for drivers to slow down and drive according to the weather conditions,” Cranton told CTV News. “And ensure all the snow is properly cleared from their vehicles. 

At Brockville Public Works, crews were working around the clock, clearing the 146 kilometres of city streets and 106 kilometres of city sidewalks. 

“We started this morning and I think the worst is behind us. It’s should be a bit easier moving forward here,” supervisor Yanick Beaudin said. 

“It’s definitely hard on the equipment, but fortunately all our stuff is four-wheel drive so it’s making it through it, but it’s definitely heavy snow today,” he added. 

Luckily for the city, a new piece of snow removing equipment for a backhoe – a four-in-one snow blade – just arrived before the storm. 

“This is perfect, just landed Wednesday and our operator running it today just said it’s phenomenal so it’s a big game changer for us,” Beaudin said.

He also reminded residents about the winter parking ban in effect so crews can clean streets quicker. 

“If the cars aren’t on the street, we can plow right up to the curbs and we don’t have to come back after the fact to plow residents in, which is not ideal for them and us,” Beaudin said. 

Over at Memorial Park, kids enjoying a snow day after buses were cancelled, attempted to toboggan, but the heavy snow was not helping.

“It’s not that good!” said one boy. 

“It was terrible,” added another. 

So the sleds were abandoned to build a snowman instead. 

“They are having a great time,” Kelly Wu said. “I think they are going to get a great workout so we can get back home and maybe spend some downtime watching a Christmas movie.”

A snowfall warning is still in effect for the region, with anywhere from 20 to 30 centimetres expected by Saturday morning.

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