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Crews in Toronto have removed 17,000 tones of snow, more coming

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Snow removal work is continuing in Toronto one week after a massive snow storm rocked the city.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Barbara Gray the general manager of transportation services for the City of Toronto, said the effort is “one of the largest snow removal operations in the city’s history,” adding that crews are “making great progress.”

“As of yesterday, we removed more than 17,000 tonnes of snow on more than 200 kilometres of roadway across Toronto,” she said.

The amount of snow the city received in just 15 hours on Jan. 17 was “more than all the snow we received in each January, for nearly the past two decades.”

Read more: Winter weather travel advisory issued for Toronto, parts of eastern GTA

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Gray said there are five dump sites across the city where the snow is being taken.

She said crews are prioritizing snow removal on designated snow routes, arterial roads, local roads, school safety zones, bridges, transit stops and roads with streetcar tracks.

Crews are also working to remove snow from sidewalks, roadway crossings and in other areas that are “critical and adjacent to schools,” Gray said.

“We’re also continuing to work closely with our emergency providers to make sure that they have the access that they need, including plowing out their facilities to ensure they can get out and deliver their services,” Gray said.

The city has also been responding to requests received since Thursday by 3-1-1.

Vince Sferrazza, director of operations and maintenance for the city’s transportation services said crews have been working 24/7 since Jan. 17.

He said more than 1,100 pieces of equipment, including salters, road plows and sidewalk machines are being used to clean-up after the storm.

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“Literally it is an army of equipment,” he said. “In addition to that, we have close to 1,500 contractor staff, and transportation staff on this. And it has been a situation where they’ve been all committed to help out. Everyone has been so supportive, and [are] showing up to work every day wanting to help out.
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Read more: Crews continue snow clearing effort in Toronto after Monday’s major storm

The update comes as Environment Canada has issued a winter weather travel advisory for the city, saying snowfall is expected to impact the evening commute.

The weather agency issued the advisory for Toronto, Pickering, Oshawa, and southern Durham Region, warning of peak snowfall rates of one to two centimetres per hour and a total of 5 to 10 cm by Monday night.

Asked whether the additional snow will impact the work currently being done, Gray said the city is “extremely well prepared.”

Gray said trucks were already out on the road to salt.

“And we will continue to monitor this storm, and also continue to do snow removal,” she said.

-With a file from Global News’ Ryan Rocca

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