The City of Ottawa is preparing for a major winter storm that will start February 26.
City road crews are preparing to plow and salt roads and sidewalks in anticipation of a heavy snowfall forecast for Ottawa. Residents are asked to exercise caution if driving, cycling or walking and to allow extra time for their commutes.
Residents are also reminded to be patient and keep a safe distance behind working snow plows and sidewalk equipment.
Drivers are also asked to avoid parking on the street, if possible, so that plows can remove snow from streets more efficiently. The City will inform residents if a parking ban is placed into effect. Residents can also sign up for an e-alert.
If you are using OC Transpo, please leave extra time for your trip and anticipate there may be weather or traffic related delays. In the event of delays or cancellations, OC Transpo will communicate via octranspo.com, Twitter (@OC_Transpo and @OCTranspoLive), subscription-based alert notifications (SMS and email), the OC Transpo iPhone app and on transit screens at stations.
The snow has started and the City is ready to respond. Staff used the last of the nice weather this morning and early afternoon to fill potholes and to prepare the trucks and equipment for this evening’s weather event.
What can we expect?
While the accumulation of snow has decreased, we could still see upwards of 40 cm of snow over the next two days. Snow has begun in the City and will continue throughout the evening. Around midnight, we may see freezing rain and rain before the heavy snow begins again tomorrow morning. We are anticipating the heaviest of snow to fall during the daytime hours, between 5 am and 7 pm Thursday, which means our vehicles will need to make multiple passes to ensure the areas are clear. Light flurries are expected to fall into Friday afternoon.
As always, we will begin with our priority roads, sidewalks and winter cycling network, clearing and treating them before moving on to arterials and eventually, residential roads.
How Can Residents Support our Winter Operations?
We are expecting a significant amount of snow over the next two days. The Mayor has asked those who are able to work from home to do so. For those who must be on the roads, please drive to the conditions, expect delays and please, give our teams room to operate. They are out to keep the roads, sidewalks and cycling network safe for you. Flashing blue lights mean we are on the job.
Due to the predicted accumulation of snow, upwards of 40 cm, residents are reminded that it is not necessary to create service requests for routine clearing concerns. Every resource is being deployed to respond to the weather, and we would rather our teams are on the roads working than in the office answering calls. Of course, if there is an emergency, please create a service request so our team can respond.
Will there be a Winter Weather Parking Ban?
Staff has not called a winter weather parking ban for this evening because our focus will be on clearing the priority roads, sidewalks and cycling network. However, our staff are always more efficient and effective when there are no parked cars on the road. When possible, please do not park on the road during a snow event.
Staff anticipates that its vehicles will be in residential areas late Thursday and as such, residents should anticipate a winter weather parking ban to be put into place Thursday evening. Information about a ban will be available online, through e-alerts and via the media.
The number one priority for City road crews during the storm is to keep Highway 174, major and arterial roads clear. Residential roads will be cleared as soon as possible; however, due to the volume of snow expected, road crews will not be able to clear residential roads as quickly. Residents are asked to please avoid contacting the City about their neighbourhood roads unless it is an emergency.
Residents are asked to clear snow away from fire hydrants connected to their own properties, if they can do so. Please check on your neighbours who are elderly or may have difficulties with mobility.
Cancellations and closures:
Please visit Ottawa.ca for the complete list of City programs affected. Please check this page regularly as information could change.