RCMP warn motorists to stay off roads on N.L. west coast

Several vehicles off roads in slippery conditions, high winds

Deana Stokes Sullivan dss@thetelegram.com
Published on March 21, 2014

The RCMP in Port aux Basques is warning motorists that travel is not recommended in the area between Channel-Port aux Basques and Stephenville due to winter weather conditions and high winds, particularly in the Wreckhouse area.

Police say highways and secondary roads are very dangerous. Roads are very slippery and slushy, snow covered, winds are very high and travel is not recommended.

Several vehicles are off the roadway and in the ditch in the Wreckhouse area due to blowing snow, whiteouts and heavy drifting.

The RCMP asks motorists to please use caution and do not travel if it is not necessary.

Environment Canada is warning that wind gusts in the Wreckhouse area could reach 120 km/h this morning.

The weather office says a frontal system will cross Newfoundland today bringing a mix of wintry weather to the island along with a short mild spell.

A variety of weather warnings and special weather statements are in effect for the entire island.

Here's the latest update from Environment Canada:

• For Western and Central Newfoundland: snow will change to showers or drizzle as temperatures rise, with a period of ice pellets or freezing rain during the changeover. Generally up to 5 centimetres of snow and less than 5 millimetres of rain is expected.

• For the South Coast of the island east of Burgeo: snow will change to rain with a brief period of ice pellets or freezing rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times with total amounts around 20 millimetres.

• For Eastern Newfoundland including the Avalon Peninsula: precipitation will fall mainly as rain, beginning this morning, with a short period of snow or freezing rain at the start. Rainfall totals are expected to be 10 to 20 millimetres for most of this region though some locally higher amounts are possible especially over the southern Avalon.

Please monitor the latest forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.

Marine Atlantic issues advisory

As a result of forecasted high wind and sea conditions, Marine Atlantic cancelled its sailings Thursday night between Port aux Basques and North Sydney, N.S.

And, according to a Marine Atlantic post on Twitter this morning, the 11:45 a.m. sailings today have also been cancelled..

Customers are urged to keep checking the travel advisory section of Marine Atlantiic's website http://www.marine-atlantic.ca and contact its toll-free number (800-341-7981) for up to date information.