Atlantic region rocked by first winter storm of season

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Environment

Residents in Newfoundland and much of the Maritimes will be digging out today from a winter storm which seemed to pick up momentum Sunday as it moved eastward.

The storm brought about 15 centimetres of snowfall to Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, with up to 20 centimetres falling over northern and eastern Nova Scotia. By about 5 p.m. Sunday, Environment Canada was reporting that 10 to 20 centimetres had already accumulated over the Avalon Peninsula and south coast, with an additional 15 centimetres expected overnight.

Residents in Newfoundland and much of the Maritimes will be digging out today from a winter storm which seemed to pick up momentum Sunday as it moved eastward.

The storm brought about 15 centimetres of snowfall to Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, with up to 20 centimetres falling over northern and eastern Nova Scotia. By about 5 p.m. Sunday, Environment Canada was reporting that 10 to 20 centimetres had already accumulated over the Avalon Peninsula and south coast, with an additional 15 centimetres expected overnight.

Heavy snowfall and strong northerly winds caused blowing snow and poor visibility, with gusts forecast to reach 100 km/h throughout the night.

Environment Canada described the system causing the severe weather conditions as "an intense low pressure system" south of Newfoundland, affecting much of the province including St. John's, the Avalon Peninsula north and south, Clarenville and Bonavista Peninsulas, Terra Nova, the Burin Peninsula, Ramea, Connaigre, Burgeo and Channel-Port aux Basques area.

Newfoundland Power reported power outages Sunday afternoon in the Southern Shore communities of Cappahayden, Aquaforte, Fermeuse, Kingman's Cove, Port Kirwin and Renews, as well as Torbay, Manuels, Conception Bay South, the Conception Bay communities of Colliers, Conception Harbour and Avondale and Dunville and Ferndale in the Placentia area.

Similar power outages were reported in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Nova Scotia Power reported power outages for about 5,000 customers around the province, while NB Power was reporting about 1,700 customers had lost power due to the storm.

The Marine Atlantic ferries, Atlantic Vision and Caribou, were delayed arriving in North Sydney, N.S. due to weather conditions.

The St. John's International Airport had numerous flight cancellations. By 6 p.m., about 15 flights into the city had been cancelled including Air Canada, WestJet and Provincial Airlines flights, while about 11 scheduled departures had been cancelled.

City of St. John's snowclearing crews were kept busy all day keeping main arteries open.

Paul Mackey, the city's director of public works, said things were going fairly well, considering the winds were high and the snow was wet and heavy to push.

He said there were a few equipment breakdowns at the beginning of the storm, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Mackey said the city had a full shift on Sunday and planned to keep crews on with no breaks between the shifts "until we get things under control."

"I would say it will be a few days to get everything cleaned up because they're talking about a total of up to 30 to 35 cms which is a big storm and where it's heavy, it's going to take a little longer to push it back," Mackey said.

Despite the poor driving conditions, St. John's Metrobus was operating throughout the day, but advised its customers to expect delays.

Most outdoor events were cancelled including a Santa Claus parade and tree lighting ceremony in Flatrock and Shallaway's Annual Christmas Concert which has been rescheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. at Cochrane Street United Church.

A vigil planned at Memorial University for 6:30 p.m. to commemorate the tragic anniversary of 1989's Montreal Massacre when 14 women were killed at l'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Que., was also cancelled due to weather and was rescheduled for tonight. Details of the location for the vigil will be released today.

According to Environment Canada, the storm system was expected to move out into the North Atlantic this morning with clouds and some sunny periods forecast with a 40 per cent chance of flurries along exposed areas of the coast late in the day.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Environment Canada, Newfoundland Power, Nova Scotia Power NB Power Marine Atlantic International Airport Air Canada WestJet Provincial Airlines Cochrane Street United Church Ecole Polytechnique

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland, New Brunswick Nova Scotia Avalon Peninsula Prince Edward Island Clarenville Terra Nova Ramea Channel-Port aux Basques Southern Shore Port Kirwin Torbay Conception Harbour Placentia North Sydney Flatrock Montreal North Atlantic

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Break as in 3 shifts. People gotta eat. Little known fact that Horton's, being a good community business gives free coffee / pasteries to all emergency services (including snow clearing) and 50% off a meal deal. That's why you often see these vehicles outside Horton's.

  • Esron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    A bunch of things:
    1. Not all Tim Horton's owners provide either free or discounted products to snow workers
    2. I think they mean There are no breaks BETWEEN the shifts like an hour or 2 before the next shift starts, NOT no breaks on shift, which would be illegal.

  • JK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Mackey said the city had a full shift on Sunday and planned to keep crews on with no breaks between the shifts until we get things under control.

    That must be why I saw five snowplows parked in the Harvey Road Timmy's parking lot at 7pm last night.

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    To JK -
    Just because its snowing, do you propose that the equipment operators work without stopping to eat?
    I bet that nobody stands over your shoulder and chastises you for taking your lunch break.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Kudo's to Joe for a great photo.

  • Jackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Mackey said the city had a full shift on Sunday and planned to keep crews on with no breaks between the shifts until we get things under control.

    Is this legal?

  • Hateshovelling
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    They just mean that there will be crews on 24/7..of course there will be breaks..but usually day shift ends at 6 ,i believe, and the night shift comes in at 7..but there will be no break in between shifts....someone got to do the dirty work:plol...just glad it is'nt me:plol

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Break as in 3 shifts. People gotta eat. Little known fact that Horton's, being a good community business gives free coffee / pasteries to all emergency services (including snow clearing) and 50% off a meal deal. That's why you often see these vehicles outside Horton's.

  • Esron
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    A bunch of things:
    1. Not all Tim Horton's owners provide either free or discounted products to snow workers
    2. I think they mean There are no breaks BETWEEN the shifts like an hour or 2 before the next shift starts, NOT no breaks on shift, which would be illegal.

  • JK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Mackey said the city had a full shift on Sunday and planned to keep crews on with no breaks between the shifts until we get things under control.

    That must be why I saw five snowplows parked in the Harvey Road Timmy's parking lot at 7pm last night.

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    To JK -
    Just because its snowing, do you propose that the equipment operators work without stopping to eat?
    I bet that nobody stands over your shoulder and chastises you for taking your lunch break.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Kudo's to Joe for a great photo.

  • Jackie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Mackey said the city had a full shift on Sunday and planned to keep crews on with no breaks between the shifts until we get things under control.

    Is this legal?

  • Hateshovelling
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    They just mean that there will be crews on 24/7..of course there will be breaks..but usually day shift ends at 6 ,i believe, and the night shift comes in at 7..but there will be no break in between shifts....someone got to do the dirty work:plol...just glad it is'nt me:plol