Montreal schools stay open as winter storm slows commutes, cancels flights

Click to play video: 'Montrealers digging out following 30-cm dump'
Montrealers digging out following 30-cm dump
WATCH: Montrealers are dealing with a sense of winter whiplash as they dig out of more than 30 centimeters of snow that dropped on Montreal Thursday. Shovels, snow blowers and plows are now the call of duty as massive snow-removal operations begin. But clearing it all away will be a challenge. Global's Tim Sargeant reports from the road. – Jan 26, 2023

Montrealers woke up to more than 25 centimetres of snow Thursday as a blast of winter weather descended upon the province, making for difficult and delayed commutes.

“I think I’ve never seen as much snow as today,” said David Stadler, a resident in the city’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood who was shovelling. “Today, it’s a full-time job.”

Environment Canada’s snowfall warning for the city remained in effect until the afternoon. By 11 a.m., some parts of Montreal had already seen 30 centimetres.

Despite the winter storm, the majority of schools in Montreal remained open for the day, though several school boards warned buses could be late.

“Snow will be accompanied by moderate winds, which will produce blowing snow at times,” the public weather agency wrote. “Conditions will gradually improve today.”

Read more: Montreal under snowfall warning, could see up to 25 cm of snow

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Environment Canada placed a large swath of southern Quebec under different warnings, ranging from winter storm to extreme cold.

While Montreal has seen the most snow so far, other parts of the province like Quebec City could see up to 15 centimetres throughout the day and accompanied by powerful winds reaching up to 60 kilometres per hour. Gatineau, meanwhile, will only taper off to flurries in the afternoon.

Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault advised drivers to be careful on the roads, saying crews will be out and about to clear the snow.

Click to play video: 'Montreal digs out from snow storm'
Montreal digs out from snow storm

Montreal’s public transit authority also told bus users to give themselves extra time and to plan ahead for their commutes.

Have a flight to catch? It’s best to check your flight status before heading to the airport in Montreal or Quebec City as multiple arrivals and departures have been delayed or cancelled at both destinations.

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Another snowfall, another removal blitz

In wake of the storm, the City of Montreal is launching its third snow-removal blitz of the season.

“We will need more than five days to complete the operation,” city spokeperson Philippe Sabourin said.

It is going to be a “long journey” for the crews, he added.

People clear snow from around their vehicles during a snowstorm in Montreal, Thursday, January 26, 2023. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Mayor Valérie Plante took to social media around noon to let citizens know that both snow clearing and loading is underway on streets and sidewalks across the city.

“Watch for signage and stay safe when you’re commuting,” she wrote.

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


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