Teams have been out all day clearing and treating the transportation network to try and get ahead of the fluctuating temperatures that were in the forecast for this afternoon.
As expected, the temperature became mild and rose above the freezing mark, bringing on rain and melting some of the snow and ice accumulation away. As the temperature began to drop below 0, the transportation network was left extremely vulnerable to ice formation because of the heavy rain and snow melt we experienced through most of the day.
Forecast and conditions
As forecasted, the temperature began dropping mid-afternoon and is expected to reach -9 degrees Celsius overnight. Precipitations have also since returned to snow, with another 5 to 10 centimetres predicted to fall overtop icy conditions. Possible wind gusts of 70 to 80 kilometres are expected to continue through this evening and into tomorrow morning. Winds will be strong and with the current snowfall, prepare yourselves for sudden periods of heavy blowing snow which will at times, reduce visibility to near zero.
The next 12 hours continues to be unfavourable for travel – please, if you must leave your home, adjust to the conditions of our sidewalks, roads and winter cycling network.
The Office of Emergency Management remains in a state of “Monitoring” and is ready to coordinate a Citywide response if deemed necessary. Further, the Significant Weather Event is still in effect as operations are expectedly taking longer than usual to complete.
With precipitations transitioning back to snow, accumulation can now be seen across of our transportation network and teams have already started to return to clear and treat priority sidewalks, roads and the winter cycling network. We will also be working in parallel on clearing and treating our residential neighbourhoods. The snow is wet and heavy, slowing down our vehicles as we are working through the storm. Please expect delays during this next phase of our operations, as they will take longer to complete.
Water pooling has also been spotted through several parts of the City, and so we will continue to open catch basins to give any leftover water space to drain. There are over 100,000 catch basins in the City – it’s important for everyone who can, to please support our operations by clearing those near your home. We are working around the clock and have called in reinforcements from our partners across Public Works. All available equipment and resources will continue to be deployed to respond and clean up after this major winter storm. However, given the magnitude of this storm we are relying on resident support to help us through the event.
Winter Weather Parking Ban
The Winter Weather Parking Ban remains in effect until 7 am Saturday, December 24. During this time, all vehicles must be removed from the road or risk being ticketed. Valid parking permit holders are exempt, as well as parking on our commercial main streets.
Given the extension to the standard length of the winter weather parking ban, additional temporary parking is available at parking lots of City of Ottawa Recreation Facilities as well as Ottawa Public Libraries. As a reminder:
- Assess conditions upon entry, park in clear areas and exercise caution when walking or driving through the lot.
- Only park in parking lots that are clearly identified as serving City recreation facilities and Ottawa Public Libraries.
- Retrieve your vehicle before 7 am Saturday, December 24.
Other parking options – such as select Park & Ride locations and City Parking Garages remain available. For more information about parking options during a Winter Weather Parking Ban including when vehicles should be retrieved, please visit Ottawa.ca/winterparking. Stay in the know by signing up for parking ban e-alerts or by downloading the City of Ottawa app.
As always, we will continue to monitor the forecast and conditions through the course of the weekend and our response will be adjusted in accordance with the changing weather. While the current Winter Weather Parking Ban is being lifted at 7 am Saturday, December 24, more work will be needed once we are through with our priority network. Please, if you can, try and find off-street parking wherever possible as this helps us clear right up to the curb.
The event is ongoing and continues to unfold. We understand that it’s been challenging – especially this time of year when so many rely on safe travel conditions. We would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has helped with this event – from clearing your local catch basin to adjusting to the conditions of the road or even just waving to our operators from afar – every bit of support has helped us make it to this point of the event.