Montreal has been absolute chaos today. Snow, combined with freezing rain and above-freezing temperatures, created a slushy mess throughout the city. Roads have been inundated, forcing the city to close some routes temporarily. Things got so bad, even Uber Eats, for a time, had to shut down its services.
TL;DR Montreal will have to clear flooded streets before temperatures drop and the tonnes of water freeze. But a labour shortage means some boroughs will not be able to do that.
The unexpected conditions also seems to have led to confusion among city officials, who were unprepared for the unfortunate weather event. Montreal has had to prioritize drain clearing to prevent a potentially disastrous oncoming temperature drop, according to TVA. If the tons of water that have collected at intersections suddenly freeze, the city would be immobilized.
Snow removal operations, meanwhile, have been put on backburner. Montrealers are understandably frustrated. But things could get even worse tomorrow. Parts of Montreal do not have the labour force they need to actually clear roads.
In the Sout-West of Montreal, district mayor Benoit Dorais posted a series of tweets explaining that the borough simply does not have the people available to adequately rid the neighbourhood of water and snow.
The mayor begins his Twitter thread by saying that, despite their best efforts (which was to put down salt), the sidewalks are still extremely slippery (which I, like most people, found out the hard way this morning).
2. En raison des écoles et CPE fermés, bcp d’employés affectés aux opérations hivernales manquent à l’appel. Nous suspendons plusieurs opérations de chargement de neige dans le #SOMtl. Désolé !— Benoit Dorais (@benoitdorais) January 24, 2019
He continues, stating that due to school closures, many snowplow operators are going to be unable to come into work. So essentially, the snow and ice will not be removed because snowplowers are unable to work, because there's snow and ice. Are you following the logic? Yeah, me either.
So, snowplowing operations in the borough proceeded slowly throughout the day. According to Global News, however, the city will not be able to clear all flooded and snowy areas before temperatures again dip below freezing.
The Tweets highlight how ridiculous the situation is in Montreal: as people jump over puddles and cars struggle to make it up hill, it seems like the whole city has been turned on its head today. Drastic changes in the weather like this seem to make everyone a little less logical.
But Montreal will carry on as it always does. If there's one positive thing about days like this, it's seeing people go about their business as usual, falling down and getting right back up again.
Stay safe out there!