'This is a snowmageddon': Waterloo Region rocked by largest winter storm in years

Waterloo region is digging out of its worst winter storm in years after more than 25 centimetres of snow fell Monday.

“I woke up to a blowing blizzard this morning. This is a snowmageddon, this is a lot of snow all at one time,” said Jennifer Helmuth, a Waterloo resident shoveling outside her home.

The snow forced Helmuth to shovel her sidewalk not once, but twice this morning.

“I couldn’t even tell that I had shoveled it the first time when I came out a few hours later,” said Helmuth. “I knew it was going to be snowing but this is quite a lot, more than I expected.”

Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning that lasted until late afternoon. About 25 to 35 centimetres of snow fell throughout the region.

“It’s been quite a few years since we saw this amount of snow this quickly,” said Kitchener resident Liz Stevens. “It was a blanket of white and I didn’t know how I was going to actually get myself to the street and shovel.”

The storm tapered off in the afternoon but left messy conditions on the roads. Waterloo regional police reported 41 collisions between midnight and 4 p.m. Monday.

Some residents who had no choice but to venture out said they wished they never left home.

“I just took a different route home actually, got onto a clean street. I went down and worked my way back up because I couldn’t turn right,” said Waterloo resident, Paul Tower who was snow-blowing his driveway.

All three of the region’s municipalities issued a snow event. On-street parking is banned until Tuesday as plows clear the roads. Residents are also reminded not to push snow off their driveway onto the road.

“We’ve spent all of today on our priority ones and twos, which are our mains and arterials, anything that GRTs travel and it has consumed our entire day,” said Scott Berry, the City of Kitchener’s manager of maintenance, roads and traffic.

Kitchener’s entire snow fleet of 52 plows were dispatched to clean up. The region sent out 16 plows, mainly to the outskirts of the tri-cities.

“The rural areas are susceptible to wind and drifting and with this light snow, it could cause further problems,” said Emil Marion, Waterloo Region’s manager of transportation operations.

It’s expected that it will take a few days until all city streets will be cleared.