Snow-removal operations in Montreal expected to be done Sunday

One day after the first major snowfall of the year, almost 2,200 vehicles headed out on the streets Wednesday evening to start to remove the snow.

City crews will start carting away snow Wednesday night after 1st major snowfall of season

They're baaaack — those familiar signs that indicate the overnight parking restrictions for snow-removal operations. (Simon-Marc Charron/Radio-Canada)

The City of Montreal has started its snow-removal operations in most boroughs, a day after the first major snowfall of the year.

More than 3,000 city employees have been working to clear the roads and sidewalks and spread abrasives since the snow began late Monday night.

Almost 2,200 vehicles hit the streets Wednesday evening to start to remove the snow. 

City spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said safety is a priority for the snow-removal operation.

"By Sunday it's going to be done, smaller streets by Monday," he said. 

The city's priority is to remove snow near hospitals, major arteries and access points for public transit.

The operation may start Thursday in some boroughs, according to Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member who oversees all things snow-related.
Tuesday marked the first snow storm of the season for Montreal, but that didn't stop some cyclists from heading out on their bikes. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The city is reminding people to be mindful of the parking restrictions and be careful around the machinery.

By 10 a.m. Tuesday, Montreal had received more than 20 centimetres of snow.

The issue today will be the wind — wind gusts of up to 60 km/h are expected at times today. Some roads and highways in and around the city are still snow-covered and slippery.

A day after about 20 centimetres of snow fell on Montreal, the city is preparing to start carting it all away. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The city is suggesting that drivers download or update their Info-Neige app so they know to move their cars when snow-removal crews pass by.

Meanwhile, a winter storm warning is still in effect for parts of central and eastern Quebec until Thursday.

Quebec City has been slammed by at least 30 centimetres of snow. Environment Canada warns that roads may be difficult to navigate and visibility will be reduced because of blowing snow due to high winds.

By the time the system has moved through Quebec, some areas will have up to 50 centimetres of snow. 

Slipping, sliding buses

Part of Côte-des-Neiges Road was closed for a time Tuesday afternoon after a number of STM buses got stuck on the hill near the Montreal General Hospital Tuesday.

Conditions were too slippery for some of the articulated buses to make up the road. One even hit a pole.

Sabourin said the city has standards for dealing with steep hills during winter weather. Crews spread salt on the street before the snow starts falling, then continue to pass by throughout the day.

Côte-des-Neiges had been salted at least once, he said, but the snowfall started to intensify right in the middle of morning rush hour, which complicated the operation.

The city will be taking "close look" at the situation, Sabourin said.

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak, Jaela Bernstien and Radio-Canada