Snow day: Delays, closures and kindnesses
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017 8:38PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 15, 2017 7:14PM EDT
Virtually all Montreal-area schools are closed as Montreal woke up to an astounding amount of snow Wednesday morning.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre advised residents in a tweet that they should stay home if at all possible.
Concordia University is closed and McGill and Laval University closed for the morning. Local CEGEPs have also announced they are closed.
Dozens of local daycares announced they are closed for the day.
The cancellations come as a blizzard with strong winds crossed over Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern U.S.
About 35 centimetres of snow fell over the region by Wednesday morning.
Another 5cm possible today w 35cm on the ground— Lori Graham (@LGrahamCTV) March 15, 2017
Winds a factor today: NW 20-40km/h
Tonight: W 30-50km/h pic.twitter.com/xRrReYfLaK
Hundreds of flights in and out of Trudeau airport have been delayed or cancelled. Air Canada has promised to waive fees to make new travel plans.
A look at the runway:
Those taking buses and trains are asked to show patience this morning. The STM reports that about 200 buses have been stranded.
The snowstorm also led to some act of kindness, like this group on Wellington St. in Verdun that helped push a bus.
The links below have information on travel and transit delays.
More than 100 drivers were unable to get to work, reducing the number of buses able to drive.
The AMT train service is also facing a staff shortage. At least one train leaving for Montreal had to remain at the station Wednesday morning in Vaudreuil-Dorion for that reason. Other departures may be disrupted.
Snow removal begins at 7 p.m.
Snow removal operations will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. The city is advising drivers to watch the parking signs and move their vehicles accordingly.Though police did not report an increase of calls overnight, they said they increased the number of officers on the road for morning rush hour.
Urgences Sante delays
Urgences Sante spokesperson Stephane Smith said they are experiencing a higher than normal amount of calls Wednesday mainly due to three reasons: a high number of car accidents, people falling and people having cardiac issues due to working outside shovelling snow. The situation is made worse because in many cases, the first responders have to shovel the entranceways to get to the patient and to transport them to hospital.
The driving conditions have also meant delays in getting to the calls. They are prioritizing urgent calls which makes the wait times for non-urgent calls longer. They have called in extra staff to deal with the heavy load but as is the case around the province, many of their workers are also delayed getting to work.
CAA is reporting that is has towed some 1,400 cars, and Transport Quebec added that some 300 cars are stuck on the roads. Thankfully there have been no major accidents in the city.
More than 45,000 Hydro-Québec customers are without electricity in the Quebec City region and another thousand are without in Chaudière-Appalaches.
This article will be updated throughout the day.