If you see a snowplow pass by in August, don’t worry; it’s part of the city’s Snowfall Preparedness Initiative. From August 9th-11th, 45 snowplows, 200 city workers, and 2 tonnes of fake snow will be used to simulate a variety of winter emergency scenarios.
“We’ve been caught with our snow pants down before, so to speak,” says City Official Rick Meyer. “These training exercises will undoubtedly improve the our response times for the upcoming winter. The City of Ottawa is dedicated to providing residents with regular, timely snow removal.”
The three-day event will cost the city nearly two million dollars, which will come out of the snowplow budget for the upcoming winter. “It’s an operational cost,” explains Meyers. “It’s an investment. Will we have reduced plowing hours as a result? Yes. Will we only be plowing when there is more than 20 cm of snow? Yes. But will we be more efficient at snow removal than last year? Probably.”