Montreal rushes to remove wet snow before big freeze

·2 min read
After Saturday's snowstorm and several days of fluctuating temperatures, there's quite a bit of water accumulation and the city aims to minimize the wetness before it gets cold. (Matt D'Amours/CBC - image credit)
After Saturday's snowstorm and several days of fluctuating temperatures, there's quite a bit of water accumulation and the city aims to minimize the wetness before it gets cold. (Matt D'Amours/CBC - image credit)

With temperatures expected to plummet later this week, Montreal is launching a massive snow-clearing operation in an effort to clean up the sloppy, wet mess before the city freezes over.

Starting at 7 p.m. Monday, nearly 2,200 snow-clearing vehicles will be working to remove snow from 10,000 kilometres of streets, sidewalks and bike paths, cleaning up the eight centimetres of snow and rain that fell on Saturday.

Sunday's warm temperatures made for wet, soupy conditions throughout the region, with water pooling in some places.

On Monday, morning rainfall is expected to turn into flurries in the afternoon, with an expected snowfall of up to four centimetres, according to Environment Canada.

Then temperatures will drop to a low of -16 C overnight, potentially creating treacherous walking and driving conditions if all that water and wet snow freezes.

The rest of the week, temperatures are expected to be well below freezing.

That's why it's better to clear the streets now to ensure that water can flow into the sumps, the city says in a statement.

"This operation is particularly aimed at securing the traffic lanes," said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.

"We are trying to prevent frozen and slippery surfaces from forming in the coming days while removing the snow that has accumulated recently."

As always, the speed of any snow removal operation is affected by the amount of parked cars in the way. The city is again reminding residents to check for orange no-parking signs and to move their cars out of the way in time.

Towing operations will not involve warning sirens after 7:30 p.m. due to the curfew. Traditionally, these sirens give people one last chance to move their car before getting ticketed and towed at their expense.

In general, signs warning of a parking ban from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. are installed before 3 p.m. the same day. When no parking is allowed between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the signs are installed the previous day before 8 p.m.

In the boroughs of LaSalle and Verdun, residents have to call the number on signs to see if the parking ban is in effect.