Montreal snow clearing may take until next Friday after biggest storm of winter

Montreal has begun the gargantuan task of digging out from under the approximately 40 centimetres of snow that just fell on the city.

Many Montrealers woke up Saturday to a big job ahead of them.

NDG resident Adam Finkelstein started his day shoveling his minivan out of waist-high snow.

“It required some extensive digging,” he said.

He was far from the only one.

NDG resident Daniel Sarney just moved back to Montreal from Brazil six months ago.

Back there, he didn’t have to shovel his car out just to take his son out for lunch. But here in Montreal, his five-year-old was relentlessly shoveling right next to him.

“He likes it! He doesn’t stop. It’s like a weekend activity for him,” Sarney said.

The main streets were in pretty good shape on Saturday, but on the side streets, the going was tough.

“I’m upset because some contractors don’t respect sidewalks,” said Bogdan Gienbicki, as he looked at a three-foot-tall snow pile in the middle of a sidewalk.

The city is well into its snow removal operation in all 19 boroughs. Countless truckloads are going to the city’s 12 snow dumps, including the one on Angrignon in Lasalle.

“It’s amazing the work we’re doing here, it’s huge!” said city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin as he stood in front of the gigantic snow pile at the Angrignon dump.

He said more than 100 dump trucks full of snow are arriving at the dump every hour, 24 hours per day. Three thousand city employees are on the roads working on clearing snow.

Workers there say they’re doing 20 hour days, and it could be that way for nearly a week.

“We have 16 inches of snow to take care of, so we will get rid of it, bring the snow to our land sites, and by next Friday it’s going to be over,” said Sabourin.

In the meantime, the city is asking for your help.

Sabourin expressed the importance of respecting no parking signs during snow removal, adding extra parking lots will be available overnight. They will be listed on the city of Montreal website. 

“Also, give us room, don’t put the garbage or recycling in the middle of the sidewalk. That’s not useful at all,” he said.

Even though it could be Friday before things get back to normal, the people Global News spoke to seemed patient.

“It’s a lot of snow, I kind of understand,” said Daniel Sarney.

“It’s part of the deal. It’s part of living in Montreal,” said Adam Finkelstein.

Sabourin said the storm will not force the city to surpass its $178 million snow removal budget.

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