Snow Removal Operations Update - Friday, February 3 - Afternoon

Yesterday evening, the Ottawa Airport reported 2.4 centimetres of snow as winds swept through the City. While it may not be a record we wanted to break, last night’s snow squall brought wind gusts reaching 68 kilometres an hour, making this Ottawa’s windiest February 2nd on record. Travelling conditions were at the mercy of the winds as drifting snow not only covered parts of the network, but also suddenly reduced visibility to zero. 

Today’s extreme cold has now settled in, but if the windchill gets any lower then we may just be breaking another record. Winds and scattered flurries are expected throughout the day but will settle before the evening hours. Although the deep freeze is expected to continue tomorrow – possibly even dropping another few degrees beginning overnight tonight – we will be getting a bit of a reprieve in terms of temperature as Sunday is showing a high of +1.

As of the latest forecast, flurries and periods of snow are expected to begin Saturday night and will continue through to Sunday evening. Totals continue to trend downward and vary throughout the City. But for now, we are expecting up to 5 centimetres of snow before the end of the event.

Our Response

Last night, Roads and Parking Services had to adjust a portion of its operations to clear and treat sidewalks, priority roads and the winter cycling network. Winds ravaged through many parts of our network, especially in neighbourhoods with open fields where snow got swooped up onto the travelled surface. Clean-up efforts from yesterday’s event will continue throughout the day, as will our planned snowbank removal operations.

One thing to keep in mind is that the extreme cold temperature slows down our equipment and operations, but our dedicated teams will continue working through these harsh winter conditions.

Snowbank Removal Operations Continues

Snowbank removal operations remains on our operational forecast and work is scheduled to continue into the weekend. Even with yesterday’s partial shift in operations, in the last 24 hours, Roads and Parking Services: 

  • Removed snowbanks from more than 72,536 curb metres. A number that will have increased by the time you read this, as completion reports continue coming in!
  • Assigned 39 crews to snow removal efforts.
  • Removed snowbanks from at least 91 street segments. Again, this number will increase throughout the day as work is still being tallied. 

A few important reminders:

  • Please stay a safe distance from our working vehicles! Playing in the snow – including making a snow man and building snow forts – should always be done far away from the road. Backyards are always best!
  • On-street parking in areas where snowbank removal is scheduled is prohibited. Everyone, including those with on-street parking permits, must remove their vehicle from the road or risk being ticketed and towed to a nearby street. Always look for posted signage as these show when operations are scheduled to begin!  
  • Temporary no stopping signs used for snowbank removal work are made from biodegradable material and along with the snow, are blown into the trucks and brought to our snow storage facilities. Once the snow melts, signs – along with any other waste picked up during removal operations – will be discarded of appropriately.

What’s Next

Sunday’s forecast continues to change, and uncertainty remains in terms of how the event will land when it reaches the City. Whatever the case may be for Sunday, Roads and Parking Services will deploy staff and equipment in accordance with the conditions. If needed, our response will begin with clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads, and the winter cycling network.

Based on the latest forecast, snowbank removal throughout the City is planned to continue throughout the weekend and, similar to yesterday evening, operations will be adjusted as required to ensure a portion of the team is reallocated to respond to the weather if necessary.

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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1