Winnipeg declares parking ban to clear snow-clogged streets
Drivers urged to stay home Boxing Day due to unsafe road conditions
The city of Winnipeg is ramping up snow clearing efforts after a major winter storm dumped between 18 and 33 centimetres of snow on the city.
A parking ban will come into effect starting at midnight for declared snow routes and will last until 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Crews have been out clearing snow since Sunday when a powerful Colorado low storm began bearing down on southern Manitoba. A number of provincial highways have been closed due to blizzard conditions including poor visibility.
Anyone driving on Winnipeg streets should use extreme caution, said Ken Allen, communications officer for the City of Winnipeg's public works department.
"The biggest thing to think about today is safety and the roads throughout the city of Winnipeg and throughout the province for that matter are pretty much clogged with snow," he said.
About 100 pieces of heavy snow-clearing equipment hit Winnipeg streets Sunday when the first snowflakes began to fall, said Allen.
A number of City snow plows on Main Street right now. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcmb?src=hash">#cbcmb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mbstorm?src=hash">#mbstorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/xRPrWWU0qn">pic.twitter.com/xRPrWWU0qn</a>—@CourtRutherford
The snowplows and front-end loaders are focused now on clearing priority streets like Portage Avenue, Main Street and Pembina Highway.
"Those are the roads that carry the lion's share of the traffic and obviously we have our transit system and other emergency vehicles that use those roadways," said Allen.
Delays to transit, emergency services
Winnipeg Transit is warning riders to expect delays while Handi-Transit has been canceled except for dialysis patients.
Starting at about 7 p.m., about 400 pieces of heavy equipment will increase snow clearing efforts overnight on Monday and into Tuesday, said Allen.
"We're going to be focusing on all aspects of snow clearing in the coming hours and days," he said.
"Top priority is to keep those main roads open today."
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is currently experiencing longer than normal delays responding to calls, the city said.
Response times are being monitored, the city said, and additional resources may be put on duty if necessary.
Back lane clearing begins Tuesday
Allen said back lane clearing will begin at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
"The way we do the back lane clearing is we focus on the areas where garbage pickup is scheduled," he said.
Recycling and garbage collection is delayed because of snow accumulation, said a city news release.
The city asks that for residents whose collection day is Monday that they put out garbage and recycling bins again tomorrow.