The City of Montreal says its teams are ready to tackle the winter storm ripping through Quebec.
“We are ready to go out as soon as we will receive the first snow on the roads,” said Jean-François Parenteau, Montreal’s executive committee member responsible for snow clearing.
Environment Canada says the storm, which started Tuesday night, will persist into Wednesday. It is expected to bringup to 40 centimetres of snow and strong winds.
“We will prepare the roads and everything to have a secure movement tomorrow morning,” Parenteau explained.
The city says its team of 3,300 workers includes blue collars and private contractors. Parenteau explained they also have other contractors on standby in case they need more resources.
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Last January’s storm forced multiple school closures and as a result, several workers from the Southwest borough didn’t show up for work.
“With the experience of last week, they will be ready to be at work on time and hopefully they’ll have the collaboration of family or neighbours,” Parenteau affirmed.
“For tomorrow morning, I can confirm to you all the staff will be there.”
The city says the de-icing of sidewalks will be put on hold in favour of snow clearing operations.
“After that we will continue to put some salt and in the next two weeks, we will continue the [de-icing] operation.”
Montrealers have been complaining about thick ice on the sidewalks making their commute more dangerous. The MUHC said last week that since the bad weather started, the hospital has seen a 30 to 40 per cent increase in fractures, mainly to wrists and ankles.
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Icy conditions are also affecting snow removal machinery. The city’s opposition says they have heard some private contractors have had equipment break down and could go as to sue the city.
Parenteau said he had “not at all” heard about those claims.
Lionel Perez, the city’s opposition leader, says he is hopeful the city learned from its performance during the past few storms.
“I think there is sufficient pressure that has been put on the administration,” Perez said. “We’ve had enough warnings. I think everyone is aware and understands the pressure.”
Parenteau is asking people to stay home if possible.
Transports Québec is suggesting the same. It advises drivers use Quebec 511 to check road conditions.
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