LOOK: First the snow, then the pictures. And now, the cleanup


Technically, it wasn't the snowiest Valentine's Eve on record in Montreal — roughly half of the almost 40 centimetres of snow that fell during this latest storm fell on Tuesday night.

The record for a Feb. 13, midnight to midnight, was 32.2 centimetres, and that happened in 1993.

In any case, the city of Montreal wasted little time announcing their plans to clean it all up.

The city will launch a brand new snow removal operation on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Ville-Marie borough, and by daybreak on Thursday, the job will have started in all 19 boroughs.

A considering the sheer volume of snow coming from this storm system, city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin says it could take a week to complete the job — and maybe longer.

"When you get 30 centimetres of snow, that means you need five days to complete the loading operation," Sabourin says. "Actually, we have 40 centimetres, so that means we would need more than five days. Maybe, up to eight days."

And that is assuming that we don't get another major dump in the next week. We may get a centimetre or two more, here and there, on Thursday and Friday — and some of that precipitation on Friday may actually fall as rain as the mercury is expected to climb above freezing.

As is always the case, the city is asking everyone to respect the orange no-parking signs that will be going up around town, and if you need a place to park while the snow removal operation is on, the city is once again making thousands of free-parking spaces available. (To find out where they are, and to track the progress of snow removal, visit the city's dedicated snow removal page here.)

In any case, record-breaker or not, a good many Montrealers had the day off on Wednesday.

Most of the major school boards, colleges and universities gave their students the day off, as did countless businesses around town.

Getting around town, and out of town, was a bit of a challenge, as Trudeau Airport reported delays and cancellations for flights throughout eastern Canada, and there was the usual roundup of fender-benders around town, including an overturned tanker truck on northbound Highway 13 in Laval on Wednesday afternoon that caused the highway to close for several hours.

Fortunately, the cargo wasn't toxic — just a load of vegetable oil — and the truck's occupants were not seriously hurt.

Incidentally, the storm did produce an exceptional amount of social media moments. Have a look.


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