January 29, 2019 9:38 pm

Durham Region digs out after January snowstorm sweeps through GTA

The Greater Toronto Area-wide snowstorm that continued overnight left some areas in Durham with more than 20 centimetres of snow, making for a messy and tiring Tuesday. Jasmine Pazzano has more.


People across Durham Region spent Tuesday shoveling and snow-blowing their way out of their neighbourhoods, after a blast of winter weather delivered more than 20 centimetres of snow to parts of the area.

Monday night’s Greater Toronto Area-wide snowstorm brought heaps of the white stuff to Durham, making for a messy and tiring day after the snowfall.

READ MORE: Canada’s wild weather: Flowers are blooming in the west and snow is pummeling the east

Juan Ramirez from Pickering, Ont., had to push his brother-in-law’s SUV off their driveway with his bare hands, after he scraped off the ice and shoveled the snow from the bottoms of the tires.

“Digging it out … it cost me a shovel,” said Ramirez, holding up the shovel’s plastic handle that broke off the metal stick.

“It’s pretty bad out here. I [have] to go see if I can find another one now,” he said with a laugh.

WATCH: Massive snowstorm causes commuter chaos in Toronto

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The City of Pickering deployed 12 snowplows to scrape its streets throughout Tuesday as well as six trucks dedicated to clearing the sidewalks, says Rod Marshall, the city’s acting manager of operations, as the city saw up to 14 centimetres of snow.

The city’s efforts may be doing more harm than good, however, as residents like Tiffany Winfrow say the plows pushed so much snow in a mound near her driveway that even her snowblower couldn’t cut through it.

“I … have to manually do it with a shovel and it’s heavy,” she said. “There’s ice in it, so it’s kind of not fun.”

WATCH: Toronto residents bust out the skis as winter storm dumps over 40 cm of snow

Pickering is urging residents to do as Winfrow has been doing after the snowplows come through their streets — clean up their own property.

“Unfortunately, with the amount of snow that we have, it has to go somewhere … and it’s going towards the curb,” said Marshall. “That’s pretty much all we can do.”

He also asked residents not to throw the snow back onto the roads.

READ MORE: Peterborough area spared from winter storm that struck southern Ontario

Areas closest to the water throughout the region were hit hardest by the snowstorm. Whitby, Ont. saw 21 centimetres of snow, and the town told Global News Monday that everyone can pitch into the snow-clearing efforts by parking their cars on their own property.

“When people park on the side of the road … our plows have to go around them, which leaves snow there,” said Jason Kittle, the town’s superintendent of operations. “When those cars eventually move, it impacts anyone else who’s driving because there’s now … snow on the road and we have to go back and clean those areas up.”

While the snow has tapered off, Environment Canada is warning Durham residents of extremely cold weather from Tuesday until Friday morning.

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