Thursday, March 19, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipal is urging all residents to be extremely careful in the coming days, as high snow banks and blowing snow are causing poor visibility across the region.
Most areas saw more than 50 centimetres of snow yesterday, and more than 80 centimetres have fallen since the weekend. Crews have been fully operational since the snow began early Wednesday and will continue 24/7 with the cleanup to ensure a smooth commute for next Monday morning.
In the meantime, motorists are advised to slow down at intersections and keep an eye out for pedestrians walking on the streets and young children playing in the snow. Many streets, including main arterial routes, are narrower than usual and some lanes may still be snow-covered.
At this time most sidewalks and bus stops are not cleared. Pedestrians are advised that if walking on the street, to walk against traffic, wear bright colours and remember that even if they can see the cars, the drivers may not be able to see them.
Residents should also be careful when clearing snow from the end of their driveways and sidewalks. In many areas, high snow banks and blowing snow are making it difficult for motorists and plow operators to see people until the last minute, particularly if they are popping in and out of the end of their driveways.
Work is continuing to open up residential side streets across the region and widen the main arterial routes. Crews were able to remove a significant amount of snow from the most challenging areas on Barrington Street, Bell Road, Summer Street and University Avenue last night and heavy equipment will be ramping up today to start cutting down snow banks and hauling snow away across the region.
Operators will continue to coordinate with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency and EHS for access to homes in residential areas in the event of an emergency. With rain in the forecast for Saturday, crews will also starting to clear catch basins in known trouble spots to help mitigate flooding on the weekend.
Halifax Regional Police and RCMP continue to be out across the region fully enforcing Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which prevents on-street parking any time, day or night, when snow clearing work is going on. It’s much harder to move a vehicle once it’s parked, so officers are working with clearing crews and doing proactive patrols to help prevent people from parking on the street, and will ticket and tow any vehicles that are already on the streets hampering snow removal.
The municipality understands that many people will need to be travelling today for work and other important commitments. We realize that the commute may be slow and difficult in some areas and we appreciate your ongoing patience and cooperation as the cleanup continues.
Once again, special thanks to residents who have been helping to shovel out their neighbours and the sidewalks around their homes and businesses today. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.