Winter storm leads to messy roads, school closures in Montreal

Click to play video: 'Snow storm hits Montreal, removal operation set to start on Sunday' Snow storm hits Montreal, removal operation set to start on Sunday
Watch: The big dig out started on Friday in Montreal after 20 centimetres of snow fell, but it’s not over yet. Another five centimetres is expected on Saturday. The snowfall led to school closures, highway slowdowns and public transit delays. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports. – Feb 18, 2022

Montrealers dug out after a messy mix of snow and freezing rain hampered commutes and forced school closures Friday.

Environment Canada had issued a snowfall warning for a large swath of southern Quebec, urging motorists to adjust their driving due to “changing road conditions.”

The blast of wintry weather brought about 20 centimetres of snow to Montreal. It made travel difficult, especially in the morning due to reduced visibility. Most school boards in and around the city cancelled classes as a result.

Read more: Snow day for schools across Greater Montreal area

Quebec’s Transport Ministry also advised drivers to slow down behind the wheel and to keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Snow plows were also out in full force to remove snow on highways and bridges.

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“(It’)s all hands on deck,” Transports Québec spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun said. “We have patrol units out. We have also GPS on our snow removal trucks so we’re able to track exactly where they are and what’s the state of the road.”

The storm also meant longer commutes for public transit users. The Société de Transport de Montréal, the city’s public transit authority, said its buses were delayed.

Click to play video: 'Global News Morning weather forecast: February 18, 2022' Global News Morning weather forecast: February 18, 2022
Global News Morning weather forecast: February 18, 2022

Others experienced long waits on local trains. Michael Nantais, a student at Concordia University, was on a mid-day train that was 50 minutes behind schedule.

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“I mean it’s understandable,” he said.

At the Montreal-Trudeau Airport, most departing flights were delayed or cancelled in the morning, while several arrivals were postponed.

Snow removal to start this weekend

The City of Montreal will begin a full snow-removal operation at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Crews will prioritize main arteries as well as areas outside of hospitals and access points for public transit.

The operation, which usually lasts several days, will include 2,200 snow-removal vehicles. They tackle about 10,000 kilometres of streets, sidewalks and bike paths in the city.

“Thank you for your co-operation and be careful in your travels,” Mayor Valérie Plante wrote on social media.

This marks the fourth snow-removal operation in Montreal.

with files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines and Tim Sargeant

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