February 9, 2017 12:36 pm
Updated: February 9, 2017 3:30 pm

Montreal snow removal crews struggle to clear ice after temperature plummets

WATCH ABOVE: Snow removal has turned into ice removal in Montreal following plummeting temperatures. Global's Kelly Greig reports.


Snow removal has turned into ice removal in Montreal following plummeting temperatures and Wednesday’s wet weather.

It’s left crews cleaning up hard-packed ice.

READ MORE: Anjou mayor blames City of Montreal for snow removal delays: ‘They’re dropping the ball’

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“It’s a challenge because yesterday was so mild and today there’s a temperature difference of 20 degrees,” said city spokesperson Jacques-Alain Lavallée.

“We have to be cautious not to damage our equipment.”

For pedestrians, Thursday morning footwear was definitely more “function over fashion.”

“Rubber boots: forget it. The big Sorels, you can’t do because there’s no traction whatsoever,” said John Bowie in NDG, who bought new boots to manage the sidewalks.

It wasn’t just pedestrians who were having a hard time.

READ MORE: Montreal snow-removal operations underway

“You can’t park,” said driver Charles Barriere.

“There’s piles of ice along the street. On every corner you have 30 feet, 40 feet. You cannot park.”

Main thoroughfares have been cleared, but small side streets are a different story.

READ MORE: Snowfall in Quebec could create ‘hazardous’ winter conditions

“At this point, salt is ineffective,” explained Lavallée.

“We’re putting pebbles on the street with special emphasis around metros, bus stops, schools and hospitals.”

Officials say there are 2,200 workers and 3,000 pieces of equipment contributing to the clean-up and priority number one is the slippery sidewalks.

READ MORE: Pedestrian dies after collision with snow removal truck in NDG

“There’s a few rocks around. I don’t know what happened to salting the streets, but it’s very difficult,” lamented Bowie over the absence of salt on Wilson Avenue.


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