Montreal is currently facing a wintertime dilemma it hasn’t had to deal with in ten years: the city literally doesn’t have anywhere to dump all the snow on the street.
Normally, Montreal’s snow clearing personnel would dump snow at one of the city’s several collection sites. And, usually, the 115cm of snow Montreal receives throughout an average winter can fit in these spaces.
But this winter Montreal has already experienced 142cm of snowfall and now almost all of the sites have already reached maximum capacity, leaving Montreal in a unique predicament.
"This type of situation is exceptional," said a spokesperson for the City of Montreal, reports TVA, who also noted that Montreal hasn’t faced an over-snow problem since 2007-2008.
City officials have already filed an application to the provincial Ministry of Environment to use the defunct Hippodrome de Montréal (aka the Blue Bonnets Raceway) as a snow collection site. A request to use space next to the Agrignon collection site has also been filed.
Until those requests are approved, however, Montreal better not be hit with another bout of snow. If the city does get a downpour of snowflakes, there will be nowhere to put all the snow that piles up on the streets.
“There won’t be room for a future storm” said Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member in charge of citizen services like snow removal.
Parenteau expects three more snowstorms by the close of the winter season, making matters seem a bit dire.
The above-average amounts of snow Montreal has received is being cited as a reason for the depletion of snow-space, as is the cold weather. Typically more snow melts, but not this year. 85% of the snow that has fallen over the city has been collected, in contrast to the 50% average.