Montreal snow clearing: More than 50 per cent of streets have been plowed
MONTREAL -- Montreal officials have been vigorously trying to clear the snow after about 40 cm of snowfall fell in less than 24 hours last week, but the progress is vastly different from borough to borough.
As of 12 p.m. Wednesday, 56 per cent of city streets have been cleared, according to the Info-Neige app.
The boroughs with the most progress include Lachine (72 per cent) and Montreal North (71 per cent).
The slowest? Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (46 per cent) and Verdun (46 per cent).
"During the weekend, we already loaded, let's say, a quarter of the snow we got last week," said city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin. "We had to slow down the loading operation in order to plow that snow away and add some salt on the streets and sidewalks."
He notes the city's previous hope of removing all the snow by Friday isn't going to happen.
"Every Montrealer will have to be patient because we'll need some more days to complete the operation," he said. "It's a huge job for our crews."
Officials are urging residents to be patient as some snowbanks are as high as 65 cm.
"More than 3,000 employees and nearly 2,200 snow removal vehicles [will work] on the 10,000 km of streets and sidewalks," the city stated. "Hospitals, public transit networks and major arteries will be prioritized."
City officials note this is the fifth snow clearing operation of the 2019-2020 season -- and it is one of the largest.
"You will see a lot of progress in the next days because we have all our workers on duty now and we want to do it as fast as we can, but security first," said Sabourin.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said Monday she was confident in the snow removal progress.
"We're definitely trying to have it done as quickly as possible, but we had to slow down the snow removal just so we could clean up all the sidewalks and streets so it's actually usable," she said. "You know, we're good at this – at removing snow fast, so we should be OK."
MORE SNOW ON THE WAY
About 15 cm of snow fell on Montreal Monday, according to Environment Canada, but that won't be the end of it.
Officials are predicting a 40 to 60 per cent chance of flurries on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday are expected to bring periods of snow, while Friday has the week's only sunny forecast.
Environment Canada notes there is a 40 per cent chance of flurries on both Saturday and Sunday.
Officials are reminding Montrealers that the best way to get around during a snow-clearing operation is to use public transit.
It's imperative that drivers respect no parking signs so snow removal vehicles can work in a timely fashion.
Drivers that don't respect the signs can expect their car to be towed. The City of Montreal offers free parking in lots during snow removal periods.
Those who park on the street should not park at an angle, said Sabourin.
Authorities are reminding Quebecers to check how much snow is on their roofs – in particular, watch out for any cracks on the walls, doors that jam, deformations on the ceiling or if there is any water infiltration.
"It's not so much the quantity in terms of thickness, but more the weight of the snow we must monitor," said Sylvain Lamothe, a spokesperson for the Régie du bâtiment du Québec. "Roofs in Quebec are made to withstand the rigours of the climate, but the fact remains you have to be vigilant as an owner."
As always, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) is reminding Quebecers that driving with ice and snow compacted on your car is not only dangerous – it’s prohibited.
“No person may drive a vehicle covered with ice, snow, or any other matter that may detach from the vehicle and constitute a hazard for other road users,” the SAAQ said, noting offenders could face a hefty fine.
During slippery conditions, or at times when visibility is reduced, drivers are encouraged to slow down and be careful.
AVOID SURPRISES IN THE WINTER
Here are a few tips to stay safe while on the roads in the winter:
- Put together a winter supply kit (snow brush, ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, shovel) and keep it in your vehicle at all times.
- Completely remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before hitting the road.
- Drive slowly and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Watch out for black ice, even if it is nice out.
- Always turn on your headlights and low beams when it is dark out.
- Make sure you have your winter tires on by Dec. 1.
- If possible, reschedule your trip if road conditions are poor.