Toronto transportation workers will likely be digging Toronto out from its thick blanket of snow through until Sunday, with local roads finally getting a pass of the plough starting late Friday afternoon.
That was the word from Toronto’s road operations manager Hector Moreno Friday afternoon, as the winter storm still lingered over Toronto.
“The ploughs should be making their ways onto residential streets between 3 and 4 p.m.,” said Moreno. “And they’ll be plugging away until one or two in the morning, then a five hour rest for our crews, and back to work at seven.”
Toronto’s crews were hard at work through the day on Friday, trying to keep Toronto’s major routes clear as the storm that originated in Texas dumped a road-choking amount of snow on the entire area.
At about 3 p.m. Friday, Moreno said city crews had taken measurements of snowfall across the city. At that point, North York was the hardest hit, with about 28 centimetres of snow on the ground. Next was Etobicoke, which took 27 centimetres, then Scarborough at 25 centimetres. The downtown area got off lightly, with between 15 and 20 centimetres of snow falling.
But city crews didn’t get off lightly anywhere. During the height of the storm — on Friday morning — snow was falling at a rate of between three and four centimetres an hour. That meant that routes that had been ploughed soon clogged up with snow again.
Add to that the number of vehicles on the road — both driving and parked — and Toronto’s fleet of ploughs had their work cut out for them.
But work was proceeding. Moreno said that city sidewalks along main roads should have had at least one pass by 8 p.m. Friday.
And at 3 p.m., Moreno was hopeful that the worst of the storm had passed.
“We’ve been told the worst is over,” he said. “We still have a few lingering centimetres coming between six and eight o’clock. But the bulk of the snow should cease by six.”
Moreno repeated his request to Torontonians to do their part to help out with the city’s snow removal efforts.
“What I would like to pass on to the general public is how they can assist us in the cleanup, by taking public transit wherever possible,” he said. “And if you have to drive, use all your defensive driving skills. Drive to the conditions. Avoid parking on city streets to make the cleanup easier, and avoid pushing or dumping any snow onto the road from driveways, sidewalks or walkways. And lastly, use the city’s 311 customer service line to obtain regular updates from the city.”