Sidewalk clearing in Halifax lags in storm cleanup
Some parts of the province see more than 40 centimetres of snow
Wednesday's heavy snowfall is hampering sidewalk and bus stop clearing efforts in the Halifax Regional Municipality, with the city saying it is not meeting its targeted cleanup times.
City officials said Thursday they are not meeting service standards that dictate how long it should take to clear 950 kilometres of sidewalk and 3,600 bus stops.
Sidewalks along main arterial roads and in downtown Halifax and Dartmouth are supposed to be done within 12 hours from the end of snowfall. Those are followed by school zones and sidewalks along transit routes.
Residential sidewalks are supposed to be finished in 36 hours, and intersections and bus stops within 48 hours from the end of snowfall.
The city estimated, as of mid-afternoon, that half of all road and sidewalk clearing was complete.
"There's blowing snow and the street plows are still pushing snow back to the curb," said Darrin Natolino, with the Halifax Regional Municipality's winter works.
"A lot of routes are getting plowed out, but then it requires going back to re-plow them and keep clearing them out. It will be a couple day event for us to get things fully cleaned up and tidied up."
The city is also instituting an overnight parking ban. Vehicles cannot be parked on streets between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Friday as snowplows continue clearing.
More than 40 centimetres of snow dropped in parts of Nova Scotia and many were digging out Thursday.
In Bridgewater, strong wind gusts created piles of snow in front of some homes, while others had hardly any. Crews worked through the night to clear roads and parking lots in Lunenburg.
The blizzard and strong winds led to whiteout conditions across the province on Wednesday.
Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said his department had no choice but to shut down the main highway in and out of the province Wednesday.
A portion of Highway 104 between Truro and Moncton was closed for more than 12 hours overnight.
"It is concerning," MacLellan said. "The reality is yesterday was a very significant storm.
"There would be no amount of resources and efforts that we could have applied yesterday to keep the Cobequid Pass and the entire 104 open from Truro to Moncton."