A first in 10 years: Montreal no longer knows where to put its snow

News 1 February, 2018
  • Sarah Daoust-Braun
    The site of the ancient hippodrome, located near the Decarie boulevard in the west of Montreal, could be used as a place to deposit snow temporarily by the end of the winter, because other sites overcrowding in the sector are at their maximum capacity. An application for authorisation has been sent this week to the ministry of the Environment.

    Sarah Daoust-Braun

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 20:47

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 20:50

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    For the first time since 2008, Montreal knows where to put its snow and wants to open emergency a temporary fall, while some of its sites of heap overflowing.

    “This kind of situation is exceptional,” says Marilyne Laroche Corbeil, press secretary for the City of Montreal, which states that this type of application goes back to the last time in the winter of 2007-2008.

    The City was asked this week by the ministry of Environment for permission to use the grounds of the former racecourse, while the three sites of the West-Island are at full capacity.

    “There will never be room to take a next storm in this area here,” said Wednesday the head of the snow, Jean-François Parenteau.

    Several factors explain the urgency of finding another place to pile snow. Montreal has received since the beginning of the season, in quantities equivalent to those of a winter complete. More than 142 cm of snow fell, while the quebec metropolis receives 115 cm on average.

    “To clear snow, the City has recourse to two methods : the disposal sites of surface and falls into the sewer. The falls of the sewer have been able to receive less snow this year because of the outside temperatures are very cold, ” says Marilyne Laroche Corbeil.

    Almost a record

    Montreal has also had to cope with a rate of melting of the snow below. Since the beginning of the winter, 85 % of the snow that has fallen has been picked up, in contrast to 50 % in average.

    All the snow that fell in January in Montreal will not have been enough to beat the record. It would have been 10 cm longer.

    In 1999, 95.1 cm were slaughtered on the mainland, while the 86,4 cm have fallen this year.

    No more hot

    “The average in January remains 50 cm, so surely that 2018 stands out. We have almost no known breaks. There are only nine days in the entire month where it has not snowed in, ” explains Alexandre Parent, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

    February should be fairly similar to what we experienced in the previous month.

    “This will not be warm, and expected to be several falls of snow,” he says.

    On Sunday, Montreal is expected to find its first snow in February, while we provides 5 to 10 cm.

    “Everything indicates that the snow falls will be important this year,” says Mr. Parent.

    -With Antoine Lacroix, Le Journal de Montréal