Monday was set to be Quebec’s first day back to school for elementary and high school students following the extended winter break, but Mother Nature had other plans.
Environment Canada is predicting 15 to 25 centimetres of snow accumulation for Montreal by Monday evening.
Authorities are warning that blowing snow, with gusts reaching up to 70 km/h, could decrease visibility and create difficult driving conditions.
Several multi-vehicle collisions were reported on major highways in and around the Montreal area Monday afternoon, leading to several lane and road closures.
According to Transports Quebec, Highway 30 West in Saint-Constant was closed at around 1 p.m. following a collision involving around 20 vehicles.
Highway 20 West was closed near Beloeil following a collision involving some 10 vehicles, while eastbound lanes were closed near Boucherville with at least eight vehicles involved.
The Sûreté du Québec confirmed officers and other first responders had been called to assist at numerous collision sites in the Montérégie region.
“Our priority is to ensure that everyone involved is safe to allow for a reopening of all lanes as soon as possible,” the SQ said in a news release.
While some injuries have been reported, according to preliminary information obtained by the SQ, none of them appear to be life-threatening.
Meanwhile, in Montreal, snow-clearing operations are underway.
“We are spreading salt on steep hills and major roads. We are doing the maintenance of all the trucks. Our crews are being prepared to hit the road,” said city of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.
Snow-removal will begin once enough snow has accumulated on the ground, according to a Tweet by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
The majority of Montreal-area school boards cancelled classes Monday due to the snowstorm.
Among the school boards that have announced a snow day are:
- English Montreal School Board
- Lester B. Pearson School Board
- Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board
- Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board
Many of the city’s private schools have also announced that they will be closed Monday. Below is a list of school closures. If your school is not on this list, please visit the school’s website to verify its status.
Schools that have announced a snow day for Monday, Jan. 17, 2022:
- All Riverside School Board schools and centres
- Azrieli Talmud Torah | Herzliah
- St. George’s Elementary and High Schools
- The Montreal Oral School for the Deaf
- Alexander von Humboldt German International School, Baie D’Urfé
- Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, including daycare services
- Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
- Centre de services scolaire Marie-Victorin, including daycare services
- Kells Academy Elementary, Middle School, High School and Grade 12
- Centre de services scolaire des Laurentides
- North Star Academy Laval
- SWLSB schools, Adult Education, Vocational Training centres, daycares and head office
- New Frontiers School Board
- The Study
- English Montreal School Board all schools, adult centres and the head office
- all institutions with CSSPI
- Trafalgar School for Girls
— with files from Global News’ Julie Turcotte