STORM WARNING: Worst of winter wallop overnight
Ottawa had already received close to 20 centimetres as of 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and Environment Canada warns the second round of the storm will pack the heaviest snow, hitting the region overnight.
The forecast warns of storm totals up to 50 centimetres in the Petawawa and Pembroke regions of the upper Ottawa Valley.
Saturday evening, the Capital received a mix of snow and ice pellets and winds reached 60 kilometres an hour. There was even some thunder rolling through Ottawa.
Poor driving conditions
Police are asking motorists to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
Saturday afternoon, some sections of eastern and southern Ontario highways experienced extremely poor visibility and even total white-out conditions.
Around 6:30 p.m., police decided to close Country Road 34 between Alexandria and Lancaster until after the storm subsided and crews could properly clear it.
Some areas including Hamilton Township near Coburg have suspended snow plowing due to "inclement weather."
People who must travel during the winter storm can check traffic conditions on CTV Ottawa's local traffic map.
Winter parking restrictions
A winter parking restriction is in effect on city streets between 1 to 7 a.m. Sunday as city crews work to clear streets. Those who park on city roads with parking restriction in effect risk being towed or ticketed, even those with on-street city parking permits.
Drivers unable to find their vehicles Sunday morning can call the city's non-emergency hotline at 311 to locate their towed vehicles.
The City of Ottawa is opening up all city-owned lots for free to help people get their cars off the streets.
Residents will be able to park at any of the city's several lots until 5 a.m. Monday morning without cost.
Storm mess expected to take days to clean
Throughout the weekend, city officials are asking residents to be patient and to keep in mind cleanup crews have about 5,500 kilometres of road to clear.
Although the storm is expected to be at its worst Saturday, the mayor told CTV News that sidewalks will likely still be a mess Monday morning, making it difficult for pedestrians.
Travel delays expected
Airport officials continue to warn travellers hoping to escape the snow to check the status of flights before heading to the airport.
This weekend marks the end of March break for Quebec schools and the beginning of the break for Ontario schools and is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods.
Airport officials say the increased traffic at the airport means the weather could put a wrench in travel plans for many spring break vacationers planning to leave Ottawa this weekend.
Snow dangers for kids
With all the snow piles in the city, Ottawa police and paramedics are warning parents staying home for March break to keep a close watch on children playing outside.
Ottawa paramedic J.P. Trottier told CTV News on Friday that although snow tunnels and mountainous snowbanks can be lots of fun, they can also be particularly dangerous for children.
He says those dangers include falling off snowbanks and landing in the middle of the street or suffocating in a snow tunnel.
"There's a chance if (children are) too close to the road . . . that they might fall into the path of a vehicle," Trottier told CTV News. "The snowbanks are actually kind of blocking the view of drivers."
Trottier also says kids need to be extremely cautious of the weight of snow above any snow tunnels they might build.
A seven-year-old Quebec girl died after the snow tunnel she was playing in collapsed on her in December.
Second snowiest winter on record
With more than 3.5 metres of snow this winter, Ottawa has experienced the second snowiest season in recorded history.
After Wednesday's storm, the city needed to get 90 more centimetres of snow to break the record set during the 1970-1971 winter season.
How are you surviving the latest winter storm? Have your say on this year's winter wallops. Leave a comment below.