Monday, Feb. 16, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – It has been a tough 24 hours in the Halifax region but with the continued patience and support of residents, crews should be able to maintain safe, passable conditions on streets and sidewalks and begin snow removal in the overnight hours.
The Halifax Regional Municipality is asking residents for their continued cooperation to find off-street parking during the day and night, and to stay off the roads if they can today to facilitate the ongoing cleanup of snow and ice from yesterday’s storm. Under Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act, vehicles can be ticketed or towed any time of the day or night if they are parked in a manner that interferes with snow clearing.
The municipality is also reminding residents to do what comes naturally to them — be a good citizen and a good neighbour and check in on seniors and others who may need help in these difficult conditions. History has shown us that these are the times when Haligonians pull together and we fully expect that the aftermath of this storm will be no different.
Currently all the Priority 1 streets are plowed and passable, but not down to bare pavement. Those streets will start to bare up over the next eight to 10 hours as the sun comes out. Baring up Priority 2 routes will be more of a challenge. Most areas of the municipality are back to where they were last week — all the areas where crews had hauled snow away are once again filled in and many streets are narrowed from the snow and ice.
Because of the cold temperatures, last night crews were using a mix of sand and gravel to provide a degree of traction. Salt isn’t as effective in these cold temperatures and forecasts are showing the deep freeze will continue until at least Friday. Salting will begin again once conditions allow for the successful application.
The plan over next 12 hours is to maintain those passable conditions for emergency vehicles and buses, with snow removal beginning again overnight tonight. That work will include pushing back and cutting down snowbanks, as well as cutting out intersections, cul-de-sacs and bus stops.
A decision will be made shortly but it is expected that the overnight parking ban will continue to be enforced this evening and possibly the next few nights to facilitate that work.
The focus today for sidewalks will be punching out holes at intersections and improving mobility for all pedestrians. Residents should understand that crews will not be able to get down to bare pavement — routes will be passable for pedestrians but just like last week, there will continue to be some issues for people with mobility challenges.
As well, residents should be aware that as a result of pushing back frozen snowbanks, people may see icy boulders in their driveways. Crews won’t be able to clear these away, as their focus right now is on the streets and sidewalks. The municipality apologizes for the inconvenience and asks that if there is a safety concern, to report it to 311.
Halifax Transit bus and ferry services are operating on holiday schedules today, as it is Nova Scotia Heritage Day. Currently none of the buses on the roads are on snow plans. Staff will continue to monitor conditions and detour specific routes, if required. Information on holiday schedules and snow plans is available by following @hfxtransit on Twitter or online at www.halifax.ca/transit.
For updates on the ongoing cleanup and any impact on municipal services, please visit www.halifax.ca/snow.