Haligonians were left digging out for the second time this week on Thursday as the latest winter storm made its way across our region, but municipal officials say there’s still a lot of work to be done.
In total, nearly 80 centimeters of snow fell in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) in just a few days.
“I’m kind of fed up, honestly, because we have a lot on the ground and we’re getting some more still,” said Ashen Phillip.
“I don’t know when it’s going to be clear but I hope soon.”
Snow removal crews been working around the clock since Monday to try and keep homes and businesses snow free, but it hasn’t been an easy process.
“The snow’s been up over my head and I’m 6’3?,” said Benjamin Dimock, owner of Hope Property Maintenance. “It’s been really, really hectic. People just need to take more time and have more patience out here. It’s pretty crazy.”
Sidewalk clearing a ‘challenge’ for snow removal crews
Although many people are taking the weather in stride, some pedestrians are having a hard time getting around and forced to walk on the road because sidewalks haven’t been cleared yet.
It’s expected to take an additional 10 to 12 days before sidewalks are fully accessible in all areas, according to the municipality. Right now, the priority is sidewalks near schools, transit routes and commercial districts.
“Unfortunately, the sidewalks are one of our challenges,” said Trevor Harvie, HRM superintendent of winter operations.
“The time committed to those sidewalks, unfortunately they’re going like a foot at a time, it’s that deep of snow. We had some that were cleared but with the high winds last night, even they drifted back in.”
Officials say once plowing operations are complete on Thursday, they will shift their resources back to sidewalk snow removal and will continue to widen and remove snow from streets that have been narrowed by snowbanks.
Crews running out of places to put snow
While workers continue to clear the snow, Harvie admits they are running out of places to put it.
“A lot of areas, we don’t have any room to just blow the snow off to the side of the road or off to the side of the sidewalk. We are going to [be] blowing some snow into some front lawns of residents just because that’s where the storage is at. Other then that, a lot of the areas in downtown we’ll actually have to load that on trucks and take it away.”
From 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Feb. 17, the following streets will be closed so snow removal operations can take place:
- Hollis Street (Cogswell to Barrington) – both sides
- Lower Water Street (Terminal Road to Upper Water Street ) – both sides
- Ochterloney Street (Maple to Alderney) – both sides
- Queen Street (Alderney to Irishtown Road) – both sides
- Portland Street (Alderney to the 5 corners intersection)
- Province House block (Granville, Prince, Hollis, George) – complete snow removal
More than 3,000 tickets issued under winter parking ban
The overnight winter parking ban is also in effect overnight Thursday.
All vehicles must be off municipal streets between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m, so crews can continue clean-up operations. So far this winter, 3,044 tickets have been issued to those who have failed to abide by the ban.
“It’s pretty apparent there now, streets are getting narrowed in. Anytime there’s a vehicle that violates the parking ban it forces our plows to not be able to service that street in a lot of ways,” said Harvie.
Police urging motorists to ‘take it slow’
RCMP say high snowbanks are continuing to cause visibility issues and are reminding motorists to drive with extra care.
“Having a vehicle suddenly pull out in front of you when they can’t see behind a snowbank can lead to a dangerous situation,” said Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.
“You may hit the vehicle or swerve and hit another car or a pedestrian.”
When the weather is bad, RCMP say motorists should be cautious on all roads, including in and around parking lots. They are also encouraging people to call 511 or visit http://511.gov.ns.ca/en/ to check road conditions before heading out.