Brief winter storm leads to dozens of collisions, snow cleanup continues

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) eastern region reported at least 50 collisions across regional highways as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

They said many of incidents involved vehicles going into the ditch. OPP encourage people to “drive with care”.

The snow arrived a bit later than originally anticipated Thursday. While some reports say heavier snowfall fell in different parts of the region, the Ottawa International Airport recorded nearly 10 cm of snowfall, according to Environment Canada. This is the most snow Ottawa has received since Jan. 13, 2024.

READ MORE: What’s open and closed in Ottawa this Family Day

The City of Ottawa says roads have been freezing over making for slippery conditions on both streets and sidewalks. They said crews have been “hard at work through the overnight hours, and they’re not done yet”.

They tackled residential neighbourhoods to clear streets early Friday morning and will clean up other problem areas like bus stops, crosswalks and other pedestrian areas overnight.

The city encourages residents to keep vehicles off the street to assist in easier operations. With some light snow expected through the weekend, crews will monitor the events and treat the transportation network as required.

Ottawa has seen just 10 cm of snow in February this year after last night, far below the monthly average. Temperatures have also been much warmer than usual. Typically, the average is -8.5 C but this February has seen an average of -2.2 C.

As a result of recent weather patters, the Rideau Canal Skateway has had trouble remaining open. With the Family Day long weekend ahead, the National Capital Commission (NCC) says “the crews are doing everything they can to open the Skateway as soon as is safely possible”.

In an updated to CityNews, the NCC says crews flooded the Skateway Friday morning in an attempt to thicken the ice. They expect the water to freeze overnight into Saturday morning and will asses the thickness and quality tomorrow.

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