MONTREAL – Crews are expected to clear snow on the major streets downtown by Monday morning, but it will take until mid-week to cart away all of the 20 or more centimetres that fell since Friday.
City of Montreal spokesperson Patricia Lowe said crews were already out Sunday in the downtown Ville Marie borough and the plan is to have all major arteries downtown cleared of snow by Monday’s morning commute. The other 18 Montreal boroughs plan to start snow clearing at 7 p.m. Sunday, she said.
At its height the operation will involve 3,000 employees using 2,200 pieces of equipment. After crews clear the snow they then cart it away. That can take 96 hours, or until mid-week, assuming there is no more snow falling in that time period, Lowe said.
Environment Canada meteorologist René Héroux said there should be two to four more centimetres of snow falling on Monday and there is a chance of snow falling again on Wednesday. He added that the snow accumulation since Friday varied between 20 and 25 centimetres, depending on the exact location on the Island of Montreal and because some of it was blowing snow.
The snow removal operations are expected to pose headaches for motorists, and the city is urging people to make use of the 5,700 free parking spaces available to residents from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. during snow loading times (when the orange signs go up on your streets).
Call 311 to find out where the parking spots are or visit the city’s website at ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=8397,94617579&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL.
The major snow clearing operation is only the third of the current winter season, which has been notably drier and milder. Usually there are at least five per winter season and an average of 215 centimetres of snow.
Since Nov. 15, the city says 115 centimetres of snow fell on Montreal, or 45 centimetres less than the average for the last 30 years. The smallest snowfall of the past thirty years was in the winter of 1978-79, with 103 centimetres of the white stuff. On the other hand in the winter of 2008-09 a whopping 505.6 centimetres of snow fell.
.......................................................Have Fun & Remember Verdun......Cheers ! - Les