Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – With work continuing to clean up from Sunday’s blizzard and forecasts calling for up to another 30 centimetres of snow in the Halifax region, the next 36 to 48 hours are going to pose serious challenges for crews clearing the streets and sidewalks.
Environment Canada has a winter storm warning in effect for Halifax Metro and Halifax County West. This system will bring snow, strong winds and blowing snow to much of the Maritimes beginning this afternoon, with some areas forecast to receive up to 30 centimetres by Wednesday evening.
Residents are urged to consider postponing non-essential travel in the coming days. For those that have to be out, be prepared for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times due to heavy and blowing snow.
Street and sidewalk crews remain fully operational. Work to clear residential side streets and widen main roads is continuing after more than 30 centimetres of snow fell Sunday. Sidewalk clearing is ongoing as well, but progress is slow due to the volume of snow and large drifts.
This ongoing work will help alleviate the impact of more snow tomorrow; however, residents should still expect slippery and snow-covered conditions tonight and in the coming days. The municipality is anticipating problems on streets and sidewalks due to the volume of snow and the limited space to clear it.
Based on current forecasts, it will be next week before conditions start to improve. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to use caution at intersections and crosswalks; large snow banks have reduced visibility for all users and the problem will only get worse in the immediate future with more snow.
The overnight parking ban will be enforced from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Wednesday and is anticipated in the coming nights as the cleanup continues. Residents are also reminded that they can be ticketed or towed any time their vehicle is parked in a manner that obstructs snow clearing, as per Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
If conditions warrant, municipal offices and customer service centres may close on Wednesday, and municipal recreation programs could be cancelled. Residents should call ahead to the office or facility to confirm before heading out. In the event of such closures, the municipality will issue a Public Service Announcement and provide updates on Twitter via @hfxgov and online at www.halifax.ca/snow.
Curbside collection of garbage, organics, and recyclables is cancelled for tomorrow, and will be re-scheduled for this Saturday, March 21. The following Solid Waste facilities will also be closed Wednesday:
· Otter Lake Waste Processing & Disposal Facilities at 600 Otter Lake Dr.
· Materials Recycling Facility at 20 Horseshoe Lake Dr.
· Composting Facilities at 80 Gloria McCluskey Ave. in Burnside and 61 Evergreen Place in Goodwood
Halifax Transit staff will be assessing weather and road conditions tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. Updates on individual bus routes will be shared via @hfxtransit on Twitter, which is streamed online at http://www.halifax.ca/transit. If there are impacts on all transit service, the public will be alerted through Public Service Announcements, on Twitter via @hfxtransit and @hfxgov, and on Halifax Transit’s website.
The municipal 311 contact centre continues to experience much higher than usual call volumes. As with all weather events, residents should refrain from contacting 311 with snow-related calls during the storm or within the targeted timeframes in the Service Standards, as crews are still working and will get to all areas in their region a soon as they can.
311 operators work with emergency responders to identify urgent and potential issues with street access during and after a storm. In the event of an emergency and 911 has been dispatched, snow clearing crews will also be contacted if required to provide an efficient and accessible route.
Residents can visit www.halifax.ca/snow for regular updates on the storm and any impacts on municipal services.