Much of Hamilton in the Niagara region saw between 40 and 50 cm during the snowstorm
Environment Canada finally ended its winter storm warning Monday night after many areas were hit with up to 50cm of accumulations in less than 12 hours.
At the height of the winter storm, some cities, such as St. Catharines, saw up to 10 cm of snow per hour by late morning.
Global News chief meteorologist Anthony Farnell said the Niagara region has really set the tone overnight for the storms that have crossed Canada so far. Not only were there a few lightning strikes at the start of the wave, but the band then dropped between 40 and 50 cm of white stuff in the early afternoon.
“Which is unprecedented outside of lake effect snow,” Farnell said.
Premier Doug Ford helps drivers dig and transports people as huge storm hits southern Ontario
“So when you get this type of activity moving for even two hours in your city or neighborhood, it can stack things up.”
Before making its way to Ontario, the storm started as a tornado in Florida before becoming an ice storm in the Carolinas and dropping its first snowfall in Cleveland.
“On Friday, the system was actually over Minnesota, then nose-dived to the Gulf of Mexico, then up the east coast,” Farnell said.
“So it was an unusual track, but it put areas like Hamilton, the rest of the Greater Toronto Area Hamilton, right on target for the heaviest group.”
Kaitlynn Furse, CAA’s director of corporate communications, told Global News that calls to help vehicles in southern Ontario amid snowfall were about 500 per hour by late morning.
“Just to give you an idea, on a normal winter day we would normally help around 4,000 people a day,” Furse told Global News.
Driving the HSR wasn’t much better as up to 50 buses were stuck in the snow during the morning rush hour and another 50 were running more than five minutes late.
Maureen Cosyn Heath, the city’s transit manager, said late Monday afternoon that the HSR was still trying to get back on track for regular service.
#HSRALERT: The HSR continues to experience delays on routes through the city due to weather conditions. Visit the City of Hamilton Plow Tracker for updates on where our maintenance vehicles have been in the last 2, 4, 12 and 24 hours. #HamOnt https://t.co/8BaDbfv9mt
— Hamilton Street Railway (@hsr) January 18, 2022
“We are currently working on recovery, largely on the condition that the plows can clear the streets of snow and once they have cleared the streets, they will proceed to clear bus stops and shelters in the coming days,” said said Cosyn. Health says.
The St. Catharines runners fared worse than their Hamilton counterparts as service had to be completely halted by early afternoon due to the vast buildups.
He was able to get back on track after a few hours off.
An update on transit.
St. Catharines Transit operations are now suspended until 3 p.m.
Paratransit/on-demand will only operate for essential travel. Customers requiring transportation for medical or essential reasons are encouraged to contact Paratransit at 905-685-9844. https://t.co/yLMDJvgCoR
— St. Catharines (@St_Catharines) January 17, 2022
Drivers are stuck along major Toronto-area highways as the winter storm blasts through southern Ontario
The acting director of transportation operations and maintenance said the city’s plows and salters were actually prepared over the weekend for Monday’s impending snow onslaught.
However, Mike Field said removal efforts were difficult simply because of the volume.
“This is actually one of the heaviest snowfalls we’ve had in the past two years, and in some areas we’re looking at over 40 centimeters of snow,” Field told Global News.
Snowplows will be busy for at least the next two days as forecasts call for winds of around 50 km/h which will blow away a lot of already cleared snow.
Crews continue to respond to escarpments and Priority 1, 2 and 3 roads. Rural roads, residential streets, bike paths and clearing of municipally owned sidewalks are ongoing. The City currently has 159 plowing and salting equipment. https://t.co/iz3UPeR6mB pic.twitter.com/9FDNSka4N8
— City of Hamilton (@cityofhamilton) January 17, 2022
“So when we go over roads that we’ve cleared, sometimes we go back a second time just to clear areas where the snow is getting stuck again,” Field said.
Nearly 160 pieces of city-owned and contracted equipment were deployed during the weather event
The executive expects most residential roads to be cleared by Tuesday.
He says one of the things Hamiltonians can do to help with the effort is to stay off the roads and try not to park on the street if possible.
“And then the other big thing, of course, is patience,” Field said.
“It takes time and… with a lot of snow that has fallen, patience is another part we asked for during this time.”
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