Ottawa – The severe winter storm that hit Ottawa yesterday delivered an all time single-day record snowfall of more than 51 cm. The previous record (40.6 cm) was set back in March 1947. In one day, we received the equivalent of 26 per cent of the total snowfall that fell during the entire winter last year.
The City of Ottawa is working hard to meet its responsibility to clear roads, sidewalks and cycle paths. All available City crews and contractors have been deployed and will continue to work 24 hours a day until cleanup is complete.
Priority roads have now been plowed and salted. Local residential road plowing is continuing. An initial residential plow run will be completed by midday on Wednesday, February 17, although many streets will require another pass to push back snow banks.
Due to the extreme amount of snow, the City is using blowers rather than plows to clear sidewalks. Because blowers do not move as fast, it may take longer than normal to clear sidewalks and bus stops in some areas.
Following such significant snowfall, the City recognizes that snow banks are considerably larger and heavier than usual. Residents are encouraged to help each other meet their responsibility to clear snow from their own properties, including any snow left at the end of a driveway or pathway after a City snow plow has passed.
Here are some things to consider as you work to clear your driveway:
- Shovelling can be stressful. Take as much time as you need to gradually clear away the snow, or ask friends or neighbours for help.
- Those with access to snow blowers are encouraged to help neighbours clear their properties.
- High school students should check with school administration to see if volunteering to help clear driveways in your neighbourhood might count towards community involvement requirements.
- If you are unable to get help, please consider hiring a private contractor. The City maintains a list of accredited snow removal companies.
The City maintains more than 22,000 fire hydrants across Ottawa. After a snow fall, City crews work as quickly as possible to clear them of snow to ensure Ottawa Fire Services has access. Residents and contractors are reminded that when clearing snow from pathways and driveways, they should not pile snow over or against hydrants.
Please note that the 3-1-1 service is available for urgent requests related to the snow, such as downed trees, broken watermains, frozen pipes and traffic signal issues.
Motorists are reminded to exercise caution around pedestrians who may be walking on the road or working to clear snow from their properties.
Motorists are reminded to always move over for emergency vehicles.
Residents should also note that the overnight parking restriction is now lifted for the City of Ottawa.
Due to the record-setting amount of snow, sections of on-street cycling lanes will continue to be snow covered until snow bank removal can be completed over the next several days.
For more information about what Ottawa is doing to clean up the snowfall, visit ottawa.ca.