Winter storm makes mess of Ottawa's roads

The snow that's falling on the capital isn't expected to stop until tonight, and it's already wreaking havoc on the roads.

The City of Ottawa has about 230 pieces of machinery clearing snowy streets and sidewalks right now.

Ottawa police reported 78 collisions between 5:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; the average for the entire day is 50.

Core roads manager Jason Stanaforth says the timing of the snowfall is partly to blame for the slick conditions.

"Those are certainly some of the difficulties in our environment, to be able to get the roads cleared while traffic is at its heaviest and the snow is at its heaviest," he tells CFRA.

Stanaforth adds that it will be tonight before crews can tackle residential areas; they're focusing on arterials during the afternoon commute.

Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, tells CFRA, in the grand scheme of things, Ottawa's actually getting off easy.

"In parts of southern Quebec, parts of the Maritime provinces, the state of Maine, some of these areas could be looking at huge amounts of snow — 40, 45 centimetres or more," he says.

Ottawa's east end could see as much as 10 centimetres of snow on the ground today; the rest of the city is expected to get around five centimetres.

The City has issued an overnight parking ban so crews can clear the roads; that means unless you have an on-street parking permit, you are not allowed to leave your car on the street between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.

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