Snow clean-up underway as winter storm hits Ottawa

The first heavy snow dump of the season has sent two Ottawa men to hospital after suffering heart attacks in separate snow-clearing incidents.

Overnight parking ban in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday, city says

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      The first heavy snow dump of the season has landed two Ottawa men in hospital after they suffered heart attacks in separate snow-clearing incidents.

      A 52-year-old man was taken to hospital in serious condition Tuesday morning after collapsing in a driveway while shovelling snow at a home in east Ottawa, paramedics said.

      On Tuesday afternoon, a man also collapsed in the driveway of his Britannia home while using a snow blower. Paramedics said he had no vital signs when they arrived around 2:30 p.m.

      Paramedics are reminding people that shovelling snow is an activity that can result "in a heavy demand on the heart." 

      "If someone is unusually short of breath or has chest discomfort, paramedics urge them to stop the activity immediately and call 911," paramedics said in a media release.

      34 collisions reported since 5 a.m.

      The snow started falling in Ottawa between midnight and 1 a.m. Tuesday and continued until 7 a.m., when it changed to ice pellets, according to Environment Canada data. 

      The ice pellets gave way to snow at about 8 a.m.

      By 3 p.m., 26 centimetres of snow had fallen in Nepean in the western part of the city, according to Environment Canada.

      Snow and ice pellets continued falling throughout Tuesday, sometimes heavily, with winds gusting between 30 to 50 km/h. 

      Environment Canada's winter storm warning ended in Ottawa just before 4:30 p.m. but light snow continued to fall.

      The snow is expected to stop late Tuesday evening, giving way to cloudy skies with a 60-per-cent chance of flurries or freezing drizzle.

      In all, about 30 centimetres of snow is expected to fall.

      Police said 34 collisions were reported between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday.

      By 3 p.m., the City of Ottawa had received 138 snow-related 311 calls.

      O-Train Trillium line service was temporarily suspended to the heavy snowfall on Tuesday afternoon.

      'It will take a while to get through the network'

      The clean-up efforts got underway early Tuesday morning, according to Luc Gagné, the City of Ottawa's manager of road services.

      By 8 a.m., 125 sidewalk-clearing units had been deployed, along with 185 road-clearing units focusing on major routes such as Highway 174, March Road, Innes Road and more.

      More than 100 road-clearing units were expected to be deployed into residential areas "shortly," Gagne told Ottawa Morning guest host Giacomo Panico.

      "Our forecaster was predicting about three centimetres, plus or minus, every three hours, so that's a significant amount of snow coming down. And with the wind and the gusts happening ... many times a plow has gone through somewhere and 10 or 15 minutes later you actually wouldn't actually know it had gone through with the wind and the amount of snow that's actually falling," Gagne said.

      "It will take a while to get through the network. We'll also be deploying all our bus-stop clearing equipment and dead-end clearing equipment and whatnot here very shortly as well."

      An on-street parking ban will be in effect in Ottawa overnight from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., Gagne said. 

      "We'll be well into this tomorrow as well for clean-up."

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