Services in Atlantic Canada's largest city were operating at reduced levels Thursday, but Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says he's confident work crews can dig the city out without declaring a state of emergency.
The extra powers the city would get from declaring a state of emergency aren't necessary and the municipality has taken additional steps to deal with more than 50 centimetres of snow that fell Wednesday, he said.
"State of emergency isn't something that you enter into lightly, so we think we have the facility, we think we have the equipment, we think we have the people and we think we have the mechanisms in place to do what has to be done," he told a news conference.
The city banned all street parking indefinitely to help work crews clear the streets.
Buses remained off the roads because a buildup of heavy snow on a transit centre where 60 per cent of Halifax Transit's fleet is stored made it unsafe to go inside. Service was scheduled to resume later Thursday on a reduced basis.
Across Nova Scotia, which was hit hardest by the storm, government offices delayed opening and military bases in Halifax were closed for the day. Canadian Forces Base Halifax is offering free parking for city residents as snow removal efforts continue on downtown streets.
The Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick and PEI has reopened but flight delays continue at Halifax's airport.
The latest snowfall followed an earlier storm that saw more than 40 centimetres of snow blanket areas of the region.
Environment Canada meteorologist Barrie MacKinnon said central Nova Scotia had the highest accumulations of snow in the region, with Sydney, N.S., in Cape Breton also getting a significant amount at 24 centimetres.
Southern New Brunswick and PEI got 10 centimetres but high winds made it seem like blizzard conditions, he added.
"Central Nova Scotia was the hot spot, the sweet spot for this storm," MacKinnon said. "Most people know, once they are out there shovelling the driveway, they notice it was a lot of snow but it was pretty fluffy type stuff, so that's why we got those high accumulations, too. Very cold temperatures and the kind of really fluffy snow."
The city of Halifax's chief administrative officer, Richard Butts, says the heavy amount of snow that has fallen on the city so far this winter has taken its toll on the money set aside for snow clearing, estimating the municipality will be $9-million to $10-million over budget by the time the season finishes.
Savage says he is ready to spend what's needed to get the city running at full capacity again.
"Council has also been very clear that we need to put the resource to this challenge that needs to be done and we will do that, and we will manage the cost but at the end of the day we recognize that this is an extraordinary winter and it's going to require extraordinary measures," he said.