East Toronto residents digging out after storm brings ‘thundersnow’ and heavy accumulations

Residents on Enderby Drive dig out on the morning of Saturday, March 4. Inset photos show the situation on Ted Reeve Drive and Crossovers Street on Saturday morning. Photos by Alan Shackleton.

East Toronto residents are digging out this morning after heavy snow fell across the city.

The storm, with included instances of fast-falling “thundersnow” dumped approximately 30 centimetres of snow on the Toronto area.

The snow began falling at about 6 p.m. on Friday, March 3, and continued into early Saturday morning.

Depending on the location, snow was falling at a very high rate of speed and accumulating quickly in the hours between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m..

That part of the storm included both visible lightening and audible thunder (a relatively rare occurrence known as thundersnow).

This morning, residents were digging out the ends of driveways and the sidewalks in front of their properties.

Snow clearing activities by the City of Toronto were also taking place and are expected to continue through the weekend and into next week.

In a news release issued just before 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, the City of Toronto declared “a major snowstorm condition” due to the severity of the storm and accumulated snow.

“The City of Toronto has declared a major snowstorm condition in Toronto in preparation for snow removal operations, which are anticipated to begin on Monday and will improve safety and accessibility in areas where snow piles restrict traffic flow, interfere with sidewalks and parking and obstruct sightlines,” said the Saturday morning news release.

“In most cases, snow can be managed within the existing road allowance through the City’s normal winter maintenance operations. However, the City has the authority to declare a major snowstorm condition when large amounts of snow accumulate during a relatively short period of time,” said the release.

“Under Municipal Code Chapter 950-406, the Mayor or the General Manager, Transportation Services, may declare that a major snowstorm condition exists on any highway or portion of highway when at least five centimetres of snow has fallen, when snow is required to be removed to allow for the proper movement of vehicles and when the clearing of snow is impeded by traffic and parking.

“During the major snowstorm condition, parking on roads designated as snow routes is prohibited for a period of 72 hours. This will allow for the snow removal of windrows left by snow plows. Under this declaration, the City will collect the snow and remove it to designated snow storage sites.

“This declaration may be cancelled sooner than 72 hours or it may be extended depending on how much snow needs to be removed. At this time, the City anticipates it will likely be extended,” said the release.

“Designated snow routes are primarily located in the downtown core and include all streetcar routes. All snow routes are clearly signed. Parking on a designated snow route during a major snow event is subject to a fine of up to $200.”

Also, the release said that Toronto emergency services rely on clear roads to quickly respond to calls, and parked vehicles that hinder them or are illegallly parked, will be towed to adjacent streets or impounded.

“Residents should call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222 to locate a vehicle that has been towed from a major arterial roadway. Illegally parked vehicles may be tagged, towed and impounded,” said the release

“Road users should expect delays, slippery conditions and poor visibility. If driving, slow down, follow at a safe distance, and use gentle braking, steering and acceleration. Road users should also keep a safe distance from snow clearing vehicles, be patient and give City crews room to make our roads and sidewalks safe and accessible.”

More information on the City of Toronto’s snowclearing plans can be found at available at www.toronto.ca/snow

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