Weather conditions will run the gamut, from snow to freezing rain, to snow again. The temperature of the asphalt should be warm enough to allow some of the precipitation to melt on contact, but a heavy snowfall or freezing rain period could lead to accumulation. Our salt trucks and sidewalk machines and snow clearing equipment will be ready for deployment as needed to keep our roads and sidewalks safe for residents.
Although we are expecting some accumulation – snow/ice pellets (2-4 cm), rain (5-10mm) and freezing rain (3-5mm), we do not anticipate that the amounts will lead to anything more than some localized water pooling. At this time, we have cleared any blocked catch basins and addressed water pooling concerns. Our teams will continue to be available should residents see pooling and need support. It is best for residents to make a request to have blocked catch basins cleared or to report pooling water online.
Some residents may be concerned that ice on the side of the road is blocking a basin. Much of the ice is melting from the bottom up, meaning that unless you are seeing water pooling, the water is reaching the catch basin by flowing under the ice. If there are concern, again residents may report online.
Residents who have concerns about their property are encouraged to review the tips available on Ottawa.ca to see how they can protect their homes from conditions related to a spring melt. For those who require sandbags, materials are available at select yards. Residents are required to fill and transport their own sandbags, however we do provide the bags and sand.
Today, our teams continue to be out filling potholes. Since January 1, 2019, teams have filled 71,714 potholes. We have teams out around the clock working to apply patches to the road. These patches, when applied in extremely wet conditions, do not always stick to the road as well as those applied during drier periods. Therefore, during this weekend’s weather event, our focus will shift to responding to filling emergency potholes. Rest assured, teams will be back out in full force after the rain to continue their work.
As conditions change, overnight and into Saturday, our teams will be ready to respond. Salt trucks and sidewalk equipment will be sent out to address freezing rain accumulation. Snow clearing equipment is ready to respond to any accumulation that may occur. Again, we anticipate that the warm asphalt temperature will keep much of the snow from accumulating.
This weather event is somewhat unpredictable, but our staff and equipment is ready to respond.
The existing ice pack, along with the weather conditions of this weekend, mean that our full spring street sweeping operations have not yet begun. We do not deploy our street sweeping equipment with so much ice still built up at the edge of the roads, nor can we send it out during ice and snow conditions. When temperatures are below zero, and we are still using salt and abrasives like sand and grit to treat roads, engaging in cleaning would be a futile effort. The water used in street sweeping operations could freeze again causing dangerous conditions and we would have to re-sweep to collect deposited materials.
We are still aiming to complete operations by May 31, and anticipate vehicles will be out as soon as next week.
Rideau River Flood Control
Our teams continue to be on the Rideau River breaking up and clearing ice to prevent flooding in local communities. They will be working throughout the weekend to manage the water flow. Residents are reminded to stay off the River and to exercise caution while around the banks. We are working with our partners from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to monitor conditions and to take appropriate action. The City is prepared to respond should conditions change in the area.