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‘It’s a winter wonderland’: Montrealers dig out after snowstorm strikes province

Click to play video: 'Montreal snow-removal operations kick off Wednesday after storm blankets city' Montreal snow-removal operations kick off Wednesday after storm blankets city
Montrealers are digging out after the first major snow storm of the year. Our Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines lends a helping hand – Feb 3, 2021

Montrealers are digging out Wednesday after a snowstorm swept through parts of Quebec.

The blanket of snow has coated roads, sidewalks and trees in the city. Catherine Chalifoux spent more than 20 minutes trying to shovel her car out in the morning.

“I have an appointment to go to but I’m stuck in the snow,” she said.

The wintry weather brought nearly 20 centimetres of snow to the city and surrounding areas after a developing low-pressure system made its way up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

“It’s a winter wonderland in Montreal this morning,” city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said.

READ MORE: Snow descends on Montreal as blast of wintry weather hits Quebec

Mayor Valérie Plante took to Twitter to say that snow-removal crews will fan out starting at 7 p.m. on local streets. She is asking drivers to respect parking restrictions to avoid being towed and delaying the operations.

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Montrealers are also being reminded to abide by the nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. that remains in effect across the province. The government’s health order aims to address COVID-19 numbers.

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Sabourin says with another small snowfall expected later this week, it could take a bit of time to clear all streets. The priority is to start with the city’s snow-choked arteries.

“We’re heading on a long journey,” he said. “It’s going to be a big process to complete the operations.”

Montreal is in for another five to 10 centimetres this week, according to Environment Canada.

“As soon as Friday we expect increasing clouds and periods of snow with another low pressure system coming from the west,” said meteorologist Jean-Philippe Bégin.

READ MORE: Snow descends on Montreal as blast of wintry weather hits Quebec

While the snow has tapered off in the city, other areas — including Quebec City and the Gaspé — were hit hard by the storm.

The blowing and fast-falling snow made for a difficult drive in some areas.

“We’re talking reduced visibility but sometimes it was reduced to zero,” Bégin said. “It was a total whiteout.”

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The storm prompted road closures, including Highway 20 from Lévis to Mont-Joli. Parts of highways 85 and 185, between Rivière-du-Loup and the New Brunswick border, were also closed.

Drivers were also barred from taking certain routes in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie due to the snow.

Click to play video: 'First major storm of the year blankets the city in snow' First major storm of the year blankets the city in snow
First major storm of the year blankets the city in snow – Feb 3, 2021

With files from The Canadian Press

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