Ottawa digs out from latest winter storm; frostbite advisory in place for Tuesday night
OTTAWA -- Residents of Ottawa and the region are digging out from a significant overnight snowfall and a winter parking ban is in effect across the city.
A snowfall warning for Ottawa and parts of eastern Ontario ended just after 10:45 a.m. Tuesday. The heavy snow is expected to taper off to lighter snow before ending early in the evening.
As of 10 a.m., the Ottawa Airport had seen 18 cm of snow and the Gatineau Airport had seen 13 cm. Volunteer weather observers in Barrhaven recorded 16.5 cm, Environment Canada told CTV News Ottawa.
Other volunteer observer totals:
- Dunrobin: 15.5 cm
- Metcalfe: 15 cm
- Wednover: 15 cm
- Vankleek Hill: 13.2 cm
All English and French school boards across Ottawa and eastern Ontario have cancelled school buses Tuesday morning. Some schools are still open.
The weather agency warned people to prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.
"Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow," the snowfall warning said. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow."
Winter storm warnings the Kingston and Gananoque areas have also ended.
Ottawa Public Health issued a frostbite advisory on Tuesday, with an overnight low of minus 18 C in the forecast and a wind chill of minus 25.
WINTER PARKING BAN
The City of Ottawa is putting a winter weather parking ban in place Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., though the hours might be extended if crews need additional time to complete winter operations.
"This ban is necessary to allow us to address the significant snowfall that will have fallen," the City says on its website. "The timing has been chosen to allow us to tackle the main roads, sidewalks and cycling network and to make them as safe as possible for buses and commuters before getting into residential areas."
All residents, except those with a residential parking permit, are required to move their vehicles from the roadway or risk a ticket and/or tow.
During winter weather parking bans, residents will have access to select OC Transpo park and rides.
Snow removal crews remain out in full force, with more than 500 pieces of equipment clearing and salting sidewalks, the cycling network and more than 12,000 lane-kilometres of streets. Road services area manager Bryden Denyes told CTV News Ottawa a storm of this magnitude will take more time to clear and that crews will be out overnight and likely into Wednesday to ensure the many windrows of snow are removed.
“We have our maintenance quality standards that we have to meet during these winter events,” Denyes said. “We have every resource available out including our contracted resources so we will be in the range of over 500 pieces of equipment out working and just trying to clean everything up so everybody can either walk drive or cycle safely.”
Major roads and busy sidewalks are the priority. Denyes adds that crews have started plowing residential streets.
MUCH WORSE FIVE YEARS AGO
This latest snowstorm comes on the five-year anniversary of a record-setting blizzard in the nation's capital.
On Feb. 16, 2016, Ottawa was blanketed with 51 centimetres of snow in a single day, which caused traffic chaos, paralyzed the mass transit system and led to more than 100 collissions.