Durham Region cleans up, digs out after winter storm slams area
Wednesday was clean-up day across Durham Region.
Southern Ontario was hit with a serious winter storm on Tuesday. At times during the day the snow kept coming, adding salt to the wounds of those praying for spring.
After Tuesday’s storm brought a mixed bag of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain, Wednesday was all about cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess.
“Driveway after driveway, salt, and when you can, get the salt,” said Reg Martin of Durham’s snow removal services.
It’s been a busy past few weeks for Martin, but for him, this snowy, cold weather means cash.
“This is the first one of 15 [driveways], so I’ll be going at it all day,” said Martin.
Martin, who has been clearing driveways for years, says it’s been a brutal February — worse than last year.
“The wind, the cold, deep freeze, then all of a sudden it’s warm then it’s cold again, more snow,” Martin said. “Crazy winter.”
“It’s been the most we had that I can remember in the last few years,” added Whitby resident Kathy Miller.
After the recent hit of snow, Miller is ready for spring.
“This has been a little too much over the last couple of days, at least,” Miller said. “I’m always worried about what weather conditions and what roads are going to be like. Whether it’s safe to make it out or not.”
Although school buses in the region’s north were cancelled Wednesday, traffic was pretty much back to normal.
Tuesday’s commutes were far from normal, however, as people got the message to stay home.
“Yesterday morning, our volumes were down about 25 per cent overall,” said Steven Kemp, Region of Durham traffic engineering and operations manager. “In the afternoon it was closer to 50 per cent overall, compared to our typical conditions.”
The Town of Whitby has been all hands on deck for the last 48 hours, having major arteries plowed before most people woke up.
“Depending on the consistency of the storm, whether the snow is heavy or light makes a big difference how they can maneuver around on the streets,” said Gene Mcelwain, Town of Whitby roads foreman. .
Cleaning up after a storm is usually a two-day event. Once the major roads are done, residential neighborhoods are next.
“We’re constantly monitoring the weather,” said Jason Kittle, roads superintendent with the Town of Whitby. “That way we know how to prepare for the next one as well as deal with the storm on that day.”
We’re not out of the woods yet, though. More precipitation is expected on Friday, so crews will be busy around the region clearing snow from storm drains, preventing streets from flooding.
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