Mounds of snow left from two major storms that have made backing out of driveways or walking on smaller residential streets challenging likely won't be removed until Sunday at the earliest.

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Plows have been busy keeping Ottawa's major roads clear, but city crews haven't yet been able to clear the increasingly large snow banks from the sides of many roads.

The city received more than 60 centimetres of snow during two major storms — one on Dec. 21 and another on Dec. 27.

"I think they're a huge issue for drivers first and foremost," said Jenelle Williams. "We have a hard time getting out of our driveway, and it's complicated to even walk sometimes."

"They're very high and scary, they need to be trimmed down to make it safe for drivers and pedestrians," said Janet Hough.


Snow banks have begun to pile high in some Ottawa residential streets. (CBC)

Kevin Wylie, the city's manager of roads and traffic operation, said the city's snow removal operations have concentrated on the main roads and areas where the snow presents sight line problems.

"We really have to focus on the main streets, after that we get to the residentials, the volumes are lower, the speeds are slower," said Wylie.

He said the city is aiming to begin snow removal work for smaller streets on Sunday night.

As temperatures have dropped, the mounds of snow have also become as hard as ice.

Mechanic Jeremy Shaffer at Elie Body Shop said about a dozen cars have stopped in the past two weeks after run-ins with solid snow banks.

"It's very cold right now so even if it hits a snow bank lightly it'll crack that plastic [off a bumper], it'll break in a heartbeat," said Shaffer.

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