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There were long line-ups at St. John’s grocery stores Tuesday as thousands of residents, storm-bound since Friday, stocked up on supplies.
Linda Richards was among them.
Her eyes filled with tears as she sat on her walking aid in the porch of a Dominion supermarket, waiting for a chance to enter the store.
She and two other residents of a housing facility run by the St. John’s Women’s Centre took a free taxi ride, as cab companies helped vulnerable people get to grocery stores that had been closed since a state of emergency was called Friday.
The trio had not been anywhere since Thursday.
“It was getting to me,” Richards said of being storm-bound.
“I have cancer and trying to be independent and that. A storm takes away stuff from you.”
Richards was hoping to pick up medication, milk, and food. As well, she wasn’t sure a cancer treatment appointment on Friday would go ahead.
Such uncertainty has been felt by many since a weather bomb walloped eastern Newfoundland Friday.
It dropped 75 centimetres of snow, more in some areas. The snow was blown around by high winds that gusted to more than 150 kilometres per hour.
The storm left waist-deep snow and huge drifts on roads and knocked out power for thousands. The power has since been restored to most.
St. John’s remains in a state of emergency. Some neighbouring towns are in a partial state of emergency.
As the region continues digging out, the school board announced Tuesday it was closing all schools for the remainder of the week.
“In many areas where states of emergency have been in place, district staff members have been unable to gain access to our buildings in order to appropriately assess or clear properties to a level that is safe for students and staff. We will need time to complete those tasks,” the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District wrote in an email to school administrators.
The post-secondary education system is also feeling the effects of the shutdown.
Memorial University said it is trying to figure out whether an extended closure will result in changes to the current semester's schedule.
MUN will remain closed Wednesday, the fourth day of cancelled classes.
“The impact on the academic term is yet to be determined,” the university said in a release. “Protecting the academic integrity of the semester is a primary concern, therefore discussions involving faculty, administration, and student unions are underway to determine if any changes to the semester schedule are warranted.”
The Canadian Forces continued helping with the clean-up Tuesday.
Premier Dwight Ball said the 200-300 military service members in the city were here until the job is done.
“We’re not talking about an exit. We’re talking about responding to the needs to the people,” he told reporters.
“They will stay as long it takes to get those needs dealt with.”
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen tweeted that almost all the city’s streets had a snowplow’s cut through them. The city also noted its operations were shifting to widening priority one and two roads.
Flights remained grounded Tuesday at St. John’s International Airport, but the airport planned to resume operations at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday, Avalanche Canada reminded residents to be careful around snow build-up and large, open slopes.
“While our focus is generally on backcountry safety, we are concerned about the possibility of avalanches in St. John’s and surrounding areas,” said Avalanche Canada's Karl Klassen.
— With files by Barb Sweet, David Maher, Juanita Mercer, and Glen Whiffen