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Winter storm drops close to 30 cm of snow on some parts of Ottawa


The latest winter storm to hit Ottawa this week has dropped more snow on the city, just days after a 12-centimetre blast.

The official total for the storm at the Ottawa Airport is 19 cm — 4.2 cm on Friday and 14.8 cm, on Saturday — but other parts of the city saw more snow. A total of 26 cm was reported in Orléans, and 27 cm was seen in Stittsville. The Walkley area saw 21 cm by Saturday morning. 

A total of 25 cm was reported at the Gatineau Airport Saturday morning, according to Environment Canada. The City of Gatineau said in a news release Saturday afternoon that 30 cm had fallen.

Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell told Newstalk 580 CFRA's "CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent" that the heaviest snow ended by Saturday morning.

"Snow is going to diminish but the winds are going to pickup again from the southwest later today — maybe around 3 o'clock or so — and that's going to blow it around," he said.

Kimbell said to expect between 5 and 8 cm of snow through the rest of the day Saturday.

A winter storm warning for the city ended at around 1:20 p.m. Saturday.

"Snow, heavy at times, will transition to periods of light snow this afternoon. Strong easterly winds gusting up to 70 km/h will combine with this heavy snow to cause significantly reduced visibility at times," the warning said, as of 11:30 a.m. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow. Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve."

City crews cleaning up

A daytime winter parking ban is in effect between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to allow for the extensive cleanup efforts required.

City roads manager Bryden Denyes told Newstalk 580 CFRA's "CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent" that crews are already making progress after a busy night.

"The snow and winds have died down a little bit, but there's still quite a bit of snow to clean up out there," he said. "The challenge right from the start of this storm was the intensity of the snowfall mixed with the wind gusts. When we clear a road or a sidewalk, very soon after, it would be covered over. Anything that was done right at the start and we didn't get back until we were finished that whole beat, definitely it was snow-covered again."

Denyes says crews began moving into residential streets by midmorning. This will be an all-day process, he said.

"The cleanup from this storm will last all day today, tonight and probably into tomorrow as well," he said.

Travel impacts

Some OC Transpo buses got stuck in the snow Saturday, transit services general manager Renée Amilcar said in a memo late in the afternoon.

"As with all transportation today, bus and Para Transpo customers have experienced delays due to challenging road conditions, which has included detours and buses getting stuck in the heavy snow. Our teams have been working to clear these situations as quickly as possible and the situation has improved," she wrote. "We continue to encourage customers to allow plenty of time when planning their commute as this weather has had an impact everyone on the road, and to use caution when boarding and exiting at bus stops or stations."

The Confederation Line is operating with double-car train service Saturday, Amilcar said, to help keep the line clear.

"This operational decision was made to ensure that resources are focused on clearing snow at critical rail infrastructure and to simplify overnight operations, allowing staff to complete key maintenance activities," said Amilcar Saturday morning.

Since the 28-day shutdown last summer, the LRT has been largely operating on single-car service. Weekday double-car trains were brought back into regular use last Monday, but weekends are still normally expected to use single-car trains.

Amilcar added on Saturday afternoon that OC Transpo is working with Rideau Transit Maintenance to keep the tracks and rail infrastructure clear, to monitor the system, and to provide salting at stations and platforms.

There were some delays and cancellations listed at the Ottawa Airport Saturday, but spokesperson Krista Kealey said operations are mostly running smoothly.

"We had some Toronto cancellations last evening and some pre-emptive cancellations this morning," she wrote. "We received 10 diverted flights destined for Toronto Pearson last night, including several wide-body aircraft. Four of the 10 eventually departed for YYZ, and six were provided with gates and deplaned. The flights will depart throughout the day today."

Travellers are encouraged to check their flights before heading to the airport and to expect some delays. 

"We have some cancellations and delays showing for the balance of the day, as is expected when a major snow event impacts the schedule – it takes time for the system to get back to normal," Kealey said. "Our snow removal crews have done a fantastic job keeping the roadways and airside surfaces clear and safe, and our operational teams inside the terminal did a great job managing the diversions last night."

Ottawa police said Sunday that officers responded to 92 collisions in the city between Friday night and Sunday morning. The OPP said it dealt with 107 collisions across eastern Ontario from Friday night to Sunday morning.

Ottawa forecast

The snow tapered off between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday and the temperature reached a high of 2 C. 

The forecast for Ottawa calls for flurries and local blowing snow in the evening. Overnight, the low is -6 C.

Sunday's forecast is steady around -6 C with clouds and a few flurries.

A bit of sunshine could peek out on Monday with a high of -8 C and a small chance of scattered flurries.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Katelyn Wilson, Jackie Perez and Matt Skube. Top Stories

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