UPDATE: Road conditions deteriorating as storm moves in: RCMP

Katie Starr
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The latest update from Environment Canada this afternoon says snow, at times heavy and blowing snow, for today and tonight. Amount 40 cm.

Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 70 becoming northeast 60 gusting to 90 this evening. Low minus 2.

For Friday, snow at times heavy and blowing snow. Amount 30 cm. Wind north 90 km/h gusting to 120 diminishing to 70 gusting to 100 in the afternoon. High zero.

Friday night, flurries changing to drizzle in the evening. Wind north 70 km/h gusting to 100 diminishing to 50 gusting to 80 in the evening. Temperature rising to plus 2 by morning.

•••

The RCMP in Holyrood is advising the motoring public that road conditions are rapidly deteriorating on the Avalon.

Police ask the public to reduce speed and drive with extreme caution, especially while traveling on the TCH. Several accidents have already been reported in the area.

•••

Snow and blowing snow is expected to begin early this afternoon in the St. John’s region, according the latest weather update from Environment Canada.

Wind southeast 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming east 40 gusting to 70 early this afternoon. Temperature steady near zero. Amount 2 to 4 cm this afternoon.

Tonight, snow at times heavy and blowing snow. Amount 30 cm. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 70 becoming northeast 70 gusting to 90 near midnight. Low minus 2.

Friday: Snow at times heavy and blowing snow changing to drizzle or flurries in the evening. Snowfall amount 30 to 40 cm. Wind north 80 km/h gusting to 110 diminishing to 50 gusting to 80 in the evening. High zero.

Storm-related announcements

• The City of St. John’s would like to advise residents that to facilitate snow removal operations, parking will not be allowed on the south side of Water Street (from Waldegrave Street to Prescott Street) and the south side of Duckworth Street effective immediately. A further notice will be released once the parking restriction has been lifted.

• Eastern Health is advising patients and clients throughout the region that services, clinics, surgeries and appointments will go ahead Friday, as previously scheduled. If a cancellation is necessary due to adverse weather conditions, individuals will be contacted to reschedule their appointments.  Emergency services continue to be available at all sites.

 

Eastern Health also reminds individuals that if they are not able to present for a scheduled appointment for tomorrow, to notify the respective health care area(s).  

 

Eastern Health continues to monitor the progress of severe winter conditions closely.  Depending on weather and road conditions, some services at some locations of Eastern Health may be reduced or closed in the interest of public safety.  As such, for emergency updates pertaining to Eastern Health’s facilities or its operations, please visit the Storm Watch section at Eastern Health’s website at www.easternhealth.ca.

Public announcements on site and service closures will also be communicated via Eastern Health Facebook page and Twitter feed.

•••

• The Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities announced today the public hearing of Newfoundland Power Inc.'s General Rate Application has been cancelled for Friday and will reconvene Monday at 9 a.m.

 • The City of Mount Pearl says the Reid Community Centre, Swimming Pool, Glacier Arena, and Kenmount Park Centre will be closing today at 4:30 p.m. due to the impending snow storm.

• Visit of Olympic bronze medalist Mark de Jonge set for Friday cancelled due to the weather.

de Jonge was to visit Stantec in St. John’s to share the inspirational story of achieving his Olympic dream. An Engineer-in-Training with Stantec in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, he captured a bronze medal in the inaugural sprint kayaking single 200-metre (K-1 200m) race at the London 2012 Olympic Games in July.

 

• Eastern Health advises the Trinity Medical Clinic, located on Main Road in Trinity, Trinity Bay, will be closed on Friday, due to severe weather conditions.

All on-site appointments scheduled for Friday have been cancelled and rescheduled.

For emergencies, proceed to the nearest health-care facility, or call the Bonavista Peninsula Health Centre at (709) 468-7881. The ambulance service can be reached at (709) 464-3838.

For emergency updates pertaining to Eastern Health’s facilities or its operations, please visit the Storm Watch section at Eastern Health’s website at www.easternhealth.ca. Public announcements on site and service closures will also be communicated via Eastern Health Facebook page and Twitter feed.

 

• The City of St. John’s would like to advise residents that due to the impending snowstorm, all City of St. John’s Recreation facilities will close today at 4:30 p.m.

For further information: Access St. John’s. Phone: 311

 

• The Telegram website's live morning blog with host Steve Bartlett will begin at 6 a.m. Friday instead of the regular 7 a.m. start to provide readers with up-to-date storm-related information.

•••

The arrival of the severe winter storm is forcing the closure of St. John's Blood Donor clinic on Wicklow Street at  3 p.m. today. The clinic will remain closed tomorrow and reopen on Monday.

St John's residents are asked to make a donation before 3 p.m. today because of concern that the storm will impact the blood supply.  

Residents of Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook are also asked to respond to help meet collections shortfalls that will occur in the more severely impacted area on the Avalon Peninsula.

"With the likely extended impact on blood donor clinics, as well as our ability to transport and distribute needed blood products to hospitals, it is crucially important to build supplies as much as is possible," Canadian Blood Services said in its latest news release. "As ever, there is a particular need for O-Negative donors, as their blood can be provided to all patients regardless of their blood type."

•••

Prenatal classes, held at the Health Sciences Centre, at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.to 10 p.m., are cancelled due to severe weather conditions.

 For general information about the prenatal classes offered at the Health Sciences Centre, please contact the Prenatal Education Coordinator at 777-7409.

 Patients and clients throughout the region can assume that services, clinics, surgeries and appointments will go ahead as previously scheduled, unless otherwise notified.  Emergency services continue to be available at all sites.

 Eastern Health continues to monitor the progress of severe winter conditions closely. For emergency updates pertaining to Eastern Health’s facilities or its operations, please visit the Storm Watch section at Eastern Health’s website at www.easternhealth.ca.

Public announcements on site and service closures will also be communicated via Eastern Health Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Eastern Health advises the public that the Trinity Medical Clinic, located on Main Road in Trinity, Trinity Bay, will be closed on Friday, January 11, 2013, due to severe weather conditions.

 

•••

• The City of Mount Pearl wishes to advise residents that due to the pending snow storm, garbage collection scheduled for Friday will be cancelled and rescheduled for collection on Monday, Jan. 14. Residents are asked to ensure that garbage carts are placed in a secure location during the snowstorm.

•••

• Campia Gymnastics in Mount Pearl will close at 5 p.m. today. All classes scheduled for tonight will be cancelled due to the impending storm. The 3:30 p.m. recreational class is also cancelled.

•••

• The City of St. John’s says that due to inclement weather conditions today, garbage and recycling collection will be assessed early Friday morning and an announcement will be made regarding collection soon after 7 a.m.

For further information: Access St. John’s. Phone: 311 or 754-CITY (2489)

•••

(Earlier update)

St. John's Metro Region schools will be closed this afternoon due to an impending storm. Dismissal will occur approximately three hours earlier than normal.

Bell Island school system schools will close after the morning session.

Ascension Collegiate School system schools will close for the afternoon.

Baccalieu Collegiate School system school reporting open.

Bonavista School system reporting open.

Clarenville School system reporting open.

Carbonear Collegiate School system will be closing for the afternoon.

Christ the King School closed for the morning, further announcement at 10:30 a.m.

Crescent Collegiate School System schools reporting open today, except for Acreman Elementary which will close at 11:30 a.m.

Dunne Memorial Academy School system will close for the afternoon.

Ferryland school system open.

Fortune Bay Academy closed for the morning with further announcement at 10:30 a.m.

Grand Bank/Fortune School system schools closed for the morning, further announcement at 10:30 a.m.

Holy Name of Mary Academy closed for the morning, further announcement 10:30 a.m.

Lamaline School System closed with further announcement at 10:30 a.m.

Lethbridge/Musgravetown School System closing at noon due to impending storm.

Marystown/Burin School System closed for the morning, further announcement at 10:30 a.m.

Placentia School System schools reporting open.

Port Rexton School System reporting open.

Random Island Academy will close for the afternoon.

Boncalli School System schools will close for the afternoon.

Southwest Arm Academy will close at noon.

St. Annes School open.

St. Catherines Academy School System to close at recess time.

St. Josephs All Grade closed for the morning, announcement at 10:30 a.m.

St. Lawrence Academy closed for the morning, announcemnt at 11 a.m.

St. Marks School open.

Swift Current Academy open.

Trepassey School System open.

Tricentia Academy open.

CLICK HERE for updates from Eastern School District.

•••

(Earlier story)

The snow plows and salt are ready to go.    

 With 40-60 centimetres forecasted to hit the capital city area Thursday and Friday, public works officials with the cities of St. John’s and Mount Pearl are looking for the public’s help in clearing the streets.

“We really need co-operation when it comes to parking vehicles,” said Gerry Antle, director of infrastructure and public works for Mount Pearl.

“It’s a safety aspect.”

Paul Mackey, director of public works and parks for St. John’s, agreed, pointing to the need for ambulances to get through in case of an emergency.

Cars are not allowed to be parked on city streets during a snow storm or up to 12 hours after in both St. John’s and Mount Pearl.

 

In addition, the winter on-street parking ban is now in effect in both cities. On-street parking outside the designated downtown area is prohibited between

12:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. daily in St. John’s, and from 1 a.m.-8 a.m. in Mount Pearl.

The parking bans are necessary in order to provide efficient snowclearing operations.

Both Antle and Mackey are monitoring the weather forecast while their teams prepare for snow removal.

“Based on the forecast, it could be very nasty,” said Mackey.

He said one advantage is that there isn’t very much snow to begin with.

“We’ve got a clean slate, which will hopefully make removal a little easier,” he said.

Clearing intersections and thoroughfares will be a priority, Mackey added, but he said changing weather conditions means flexibility is important.

“I think the biggest question is, will the snow turn to rain? That could have a big impact on drifting,” he said.

The storm is expected to hit this evening and continue into Friday. Peak wind gusts could reach 120 kilometres an hour, according to Environment Canada, and could cause heavy drifting and reduced visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

 

telegram@thetelegram.com

.....

The winter storm watch for St. John's and area for Thursday has been upgraded to a blizzard warning, Environment Canada says.

Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions.

Snow and blowing snow is expected to start in the afternoon, with amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming east 40 gusting to 70 in the afternoon. High zero.

For Thursday night, snow at times heavy and blowing snow. Amount 30 cm. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 70 becoming northeast 60 gusting to 90 near midnight then increasing to 80 gusting to 110 before morning. Low minus 2.

Friday Snow, blowing snow, windy. and high of plus 1.

For Saturday, showers. Low plus 1. High plus 3.

Blizzard warnings also in effect for the areas around Clarenville and Bonavista, Cape Race, Placentia, Marystown, Bay Roberts. and a snowfall warning for Burgeo.

According to Environment Canada, an upper trough currently moving east of the Great Lakes will continue moving toward the Atlantic coast tonight and is forecast to spawn the development of a low pressure centre near Prince Edward Island early Thursday morning. This low will begin to intensify as it tracks south of Newfoundland Thursday night, and is then expected to drift slowly southeastward over the Grand Banks on Friday.

 

For the Burgeo area: Snow is forecast to develop Thursday morning and amounts are expected to reach 10 to 15 centimetres by Thursday evening. Winds will strengthen during the day resulting in blowing snow, however, the strongest winds are not expected to arrive until after the snow ends.

 

For the Connaigre, Burin, Avalon, and Bonavista peninsulas, as well as the Clarenville area: Snow will spread over southernmost areas by noon on Thursday and spread northward into the St. John's Metro area during the afternoon, reaching the Bonavista Peninsula late in the day. The snow will become heavy at times, with amounts of 30 to 40 centimetres expected over the Burin and Avalon peninsulas by Friday morning and lesser amounts over the Clarenville and Bonavista areas. In addition winds will strengthen from the northeast with gusts reaching 100 km/h or higher overnight Thursday night. The combination of snow and wind will result in blizzard conditions with near zero visibility.

The snow is forecast to taper off over southernmost areas by early Friday, but will likely persist into the afternoon across the Northern Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas giving additional accumulations. Some areas may eventually see a changeover to rain later on Friday.

However very strong winds will continue with gusts potentially reaching 120 km/h over exposed locations.

 

For the Terra Nova Park region: Snow will arrive Thursday afternoon, giving accumulation potentially exceeding 10 centimetres by Thursday night. Strong winds combined with the snow will result in reduced visibilities in blowing snow.

 

 

•••

(Earlier story)

Canadian Blood Services is encouraging Newfoundland residents to donate blood in advance of the impending winter storm.

“With the likely extended impact on the blood donor clinic, as well as our ability to transport and distribute needed blood products to hospitals, it is crucially important to build supplies as much as is possible,” Canadian Blood Services said in a news release. “As always, there is a particular need for O-Negative donors, as their blood can be provided to all patients regardless of blood type.”

A mobile clinic in Norman’s Cove, scheduled for Thursday night has been cancelled.

Commuters driving home from work Thursday will face blowing snow and reduced visibility as Environment Canada continues its’ winter storm watch for St. John’s and the area.

Meteorologist Herb Thoms warned drivers to exercise caution on the roads.

“Thursday night is not going to be very pleasant,” he said. “If people have to travel, they might want to change their plans.”

Environment Canada is predicting wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour and a potential snowfall of 40-60 centimetres in St. John’s by Friday evening depending on where the system tracks.

Normal Canadian Blood Services clinic hours are as follows:

• St. John’s – 7 Wicklow St.

Wednesday,  Jan. 9 — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 10 —11 a.m. to 7 a.m.

• Corner Brook – 3 Herald Ave.

Wednesday, Jan. 9, — 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 10 — 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

• Grand Falls-Windsor - 105 Lincoln Rd.

Wednesday, Jan. 9 — 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 10 — 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

More information on booking an appointment can be found online at www.blood.ca or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

Organizations: Canadian Blood Services

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • theflower
    January 10, 2013 - 08:38

    This storm will bring me back to when i was a kid walking to school and standing on top of the light poles. going to be a big storm ,alot of blowing snow . you know what ,us older folks will be able to handle it ,but not so sure of the younger generation . all ther use to is sitting in front of computers, were never taught how to handle emergency situations .parents today don't teach their kid anything they just spoil them. well see.

    • Addie
      January 10, 2013 - 09:08

      We haven't had many storms like this one in a long time. It's Newfoundland and we do get our share of them. Many are nothing to worry about, however this is a lot of snow forcasted for one storm. Each generation can only deal with what we're given in the way of weather it has nothing to do with what we're teaching them and if older generations had what we have today, they would have surely taken advantage of the same commodities. We have been fortunate thus far with milder winters than many years ago.