Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that although it has stopped snowing in most areas, temperatures are dropping and it is not safe to be out on the roads due to icy conditions and severe flooding on many streets.
Municipal and Halifax Water crews have been responding to hundreds of flooding calls around the Halifax region, in addition to efforts to clear the streets and sidewalks. Police have also been responding to calls of vehicles getting stuck in deep water and have been assisting stranded motorists.
Most of the flooding is being caused by buried catch basins and snow and slush from today’s storm clogging those that were cleared over the past few days. Crews are also finding that once the catch basins are located and cleared, the inside of the drain is already clogged with frozen slush, leaving no place for the pooling water to retreat.
To help with ongoing clearing efforts, the municipality is urging residents to stay home over the next 24 to 36 hours, if they’re able. Many retail stores, banks, government offices and schools will be closed on Monday, Feb. 16, for Heritage Day. Less traffic on the roads will assist with clearing, which is expected to take a couple of days.
As long as temperatures remain below -12 degrees, crews will apply a sand and crusher dust mixture to give some degree of traction. This is a short-term measure, as it will not melt the ice. Salting will begin again once conditions allow for successful application.
For municipal sidewalks, pedestrians need to be aware that crews are focusing on opening intersections, although many will be blocked with large amounts of frozen slush from street-clearing operations. Pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues, should exercise caution if they need to be out, as crews will not be able to meet service standards in these conditions.
Residents are reminded that the overnight winter parking ban will be enforced tonight from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. Residents are required to find off-street parking during those hours or they could be ticketed and towed. As well, Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act states that 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 municipal 311 contact centre has been experiencing much higher than usual call volumes. Residents are asked to be patient if there are delays in getting through. Residents can also visit www.halifax.ca/snow for updates on the storm and any impacts on municipal services