Environment Canada lifts winter storm warning for Ottawa; cleanup underway
After a windy snowstorm dumped close to 30 centimetres of fresh powder on Ottawa by Wednesday morning, Environment Canada has terminated the winter storm warning for the national capital.
But the snow hasn’t let up yet and the national weather agency predicts another five centimetres will fall before tapering off into flurries later Wednesday.
More blowing snow is in Environment Canada’s forecast for the afternoon, with winds gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour.
Wednesday will reach a high of -1 C, with a wind chill near -13, according to the agency. Wednesday night will bring flurries and a low of -11 C, with a wind chill of -10 in the evening and -18 overnight.
While the worst now appears to be over, the heavy snowfall still put a halt to many activities across the city Wednesday morning.
The Ottawa International Airport is reporting that a number of flights are delayed or cancelled because of the weather conditions.
On the roads, Ottawa’s public transit provider warned earlier in the morning that road conditions remain poor and told transit riders to expect detours, delays and trip cancellations for both OC Transpo and ParaTranspo rides. OC Transpo is posting live transit updates here.
Ottawa police said on Wednesday afternoon they’ve responded to 26 collisions since 5 a.m.
Police urge pedestrians not to walk in the streets and remain on the sidewalks.
The City of Ottawa has cancelled garbage, recycling and compost collection for the day. Wednesday’s pick-up will take place on Thursday and collection for the rest of the week will be delayed by one day.
City council’s regular meeting on Wednesday was cancelled because of the weather. The budget consultation meeting scheduled for the evening has been called off as well.
All city libraries and recreation facilities are closed in the morning but will reopen and resume regular programming at 12 p.m.
All schools in Ottawa are closed for the day, after all four local school boards cancelled classes on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the storm.
The University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College all cancelled classes for a 24-hour period.
The city says cleanup operations will continue into Thursday.
“City road crews have been working around the clock plowing, sanding and gritting roads and sidewalks in response to this week’s winter storm,” the city said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The municipality reiterated that the top priority for road crews is to keep the Queensway, Transitway, and other major and arterial roads clear. Crews will plow residential roads “as soon as possible,” the city said but warned those streets won’t be cleared as quickly as the main roads.
If it’s safe to do so, the city is asking residents to sweep the snow away from fire hydrants connected to their properties.
The municipality is also extending an overnight parking ban on city streets until further notice, so that road crews can “plow easily and effectively.”
Except for those with on-street parking permits, anyone who parks their vehicles on city streets between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. risks being ticketed and towed.
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