Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Latest snow update - December 29, PM

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Below, I've pasted the latest update from our staff on snow operations in the core area.

I have heard from many of you today, and continue to hear tonight, about the lack of plowing in Kitchissippi. Some of us have seen a plow; most have not. I spoke with staff around 7:15, and they acknowledge that it has been very slow. First, this was the largest storm in the past 2 1/2 years, with snow accumulating quickly for long periods of time. That's always a challenge. Priority roads required more frequent plowing than usual, meaning equipment couldn't be used on residential roads in the meantime. Furthermore, some salting equipment broke down, forcing them to salt using graders, which diverted graders from residential duty. Significantly, equipment was frequently diverted to dig out stuck buses. There have been several reports in the press about reduced plowing standards; I'm assured by staff that this is not the case. The same resources as always have been available, but were frequently diverted due to the nature of the storm.

As of my last conversation with staff, residential plowing was getting significantly underway, though multiple pieces of equipment remain diverted. With the snow having tailed off, the focus can now shift from priority roads to residential. I am starting to hear from Kitchissippi residents across the ward that their street has now been plowed. If yours hasn't been yet - thanks for your patience. It will be done tonight. When we wake up, sidewalks and crosswalk buttons will be clear, and the roads passable.

[UPDATE] Now that the plows are back on regular residential beats, it looks like the app is showing accurate ETAs. I've checked several of the addresses that came in today, and they're showing either already plowed, or what look like reasonable forecast plowing times. Check yours if you haven't already done so.

The plowing has not been up to residents' standards today. People understand that a large storm takes a while to clean, but many of us found our patience worn thin. The work begins now to better understand what happened, and how it can be kept from happening again. I'll update as I know more. Here's the staff update:


Approx. 25 cm of snow fell on the City transportation network in a 15 hour period (approx. 1am to 4 pm). Day staff have been plowing the arterial/major collector network throughout the day and continue until the shift change at 7pm. The priority beat network is improving as the winter event has slowed to flurries. Staff tonight will continue to concentrate on priority roads and sidewalks, along with clearing bus stops. We continue to work on residential streets and sidewalks which will have one full pass by this evening and will return in the morning to complete the next plow operation. With no established snow banks and this substantial accumulation covering all the curbs/edge of the road it’s taking extra time to plow so we are not damaging the boulevard. Windy conditions still prevail in the open areas and staff will plow and treat as necessary. Temperatures overnight -9C, wind chill -15C and winds out of the ENE at 22 km/h and gust of 35 km/h.
Day shift Wednesday December 30
Day shift will continue the clean up of arterial roads and sidewalks, gritting residential streets and sidewalks, clean up dead ends streets and cul de sacs, bus stops and scarify gravel roads as required.  

Posted December 29, 2015