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Closures pile up in advance of storm barreling towards Newfoundland

A pedestrian trudges through the heavy snowfall Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020 in Halifax.
File photo. -SaltWire Network

Metrobus not operating all day Friday

Closures and cancellations are beginning to pile up in advance of the pile of snow that’s expected on Friday.

The Telegram will continue to update this list as closures and cancellations are announced.

Avalon and Eastern Newfoundland

All metro area schools are closed on Friday. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District made the rare advance call to cancel schools due to the impending blizzard.

Schools affected are in St. John's, Conception Bay South, Paradise, Mount Pearl, and other parts of the metro area.

Several Central region schools are also closed all day on Friday, including Clarenville and Bonavista area schools.

For individual school closures, check: https://www.nlesd.ca/schools/statusreport/index.jsp

District headquarters in St. John's is closed for the morning, with a further announcement Friday morning.

All Newfoundland and Labrador Public Library branches in St. John’s and eastern Newfoundland closed Friday.

St. John’s

Metrobus service will not be operating on Friday. Further updates about the possible resumption of service on Saturday will be provided on the Metrobus website at metrobus.com or on Ride Guide at 722-9400.

The Avalon Mall will be closed all day Friday.

All provincial government offices in the St. John’s metro area will be closed Friday morning. An update on whether offices will open in the afternoon will be provided by 6:30 a.m.

The following City of St. John’s facilities are closed on Friday: City Hall, all recreation facilities, the Animal Care and Adoption Centre, the Visitor Information Centre, the Railway Coastal Museum, City Archives and Robin Hood Bay Regional Waste Management Facility.

The city also announced that due to high winds forecasted, garbage and recycling collection on Friday for area 5 and area 5B, respectively, is rescheduled to Monday. Collection times will be different than normal as there will be collection from Area 5 and Area 1 on Monday.

St. John’s Provincial Court will be closed on Friday. All matters scheduled for that day will be called at the same time on Monday, Jan. 20.

Avalon Employment will be closed on Friday.

Buckmaster Circle Community Centre is closed Friday.

Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association is closed Friday.

Municipal NL is closed Friday.

Office of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador is closed Friday.

Mallard Cottage and Waterwest Kitchen and Meats restaurants closed Friday.

Anyone with tickets for Friday night’s performance of The Father at the LSPU Hall is encouraged to call the box office at 753-4531 to exchange their ticket for another performance.

The St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre is rescheduling the Revue performance on Friday, Jan. 17 to Monday, Jan. 20. This is an added show. All Friday night ticket holders have been moved to Monday at 8 p.m. Patrons who have already picked up tickets will have those honored at the door for the new date (including print at home/e-tickets). If ticket holders are unable to make the rescheduled performance, the box office can move tickets to any other date where seats are available: January 16 (Thursday), January 18 (Saturday), or January 19 (Sunday), or issue a refund. The box office is standing by to help and can be reached at 729-3900.

Mount Pearl

All City of Mount Pearl buildings and facilities will be closed Friday.

Paradise

All Town of Paradise facilities will be closed on Friday and Saturday, including the Town Hall and Paradise Double Ice Complex, and all programs are cancelled for Friday and Saturday. Updates on closures and cancellations will be posted to the town website (www.paradise.ca/closures) and town social media pages.

Also in Paradise, garbage collection for Area 4A&B and recycling collection for Area 4B is cancelled for Friday. Collection for Area 4 will now take place on Monday.

Travel

St. John’s Airport tweeted that the airport’s winter operations team is prepared for the winter weather, but asks travellers to please check with their airline for flight status information.

Most flights scheduled to arrive or depart on Friday are cancelled. Travellers are advised to check the status of their flights.

Because of expected flight cancellations, Air Canada has announced that change fees are waived for travelers to rebook. The airline also added two extra flights for customers looking to travel very late Thursday night in advance of the storm. Air Canada said AC2007 YYT-YYZ departing 0025 (Jan. 17) and AC8775 YYT-YHZ departing 0030 (Jan. 17) are available for re-booking.

Marine Atlantic advises customers that due to impending weather conditions the following changes have been made to the ferry schedule:

North Sydney to Port aux Basques, Thursday, Jan. 16 at 2345 is now scheduled to depart Friday, Jan. 17 at 1145.

Port aux Basques to North Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 16 at 2345 is now scheduled to depart Friday, Jan. 17 at 1145.

Check-in time is two hours prior to departure.

Marine Atlantic also advises customers that due to impending weather conditions in the Cabot Strait, potential impacts are anticipated to sailings from Friday, Jan. 17 at 11:45 through to Monday, Jan. 20 at 11:45.

To make alternate travel arrangements, ferry users can contact Marine Atlantic’s toll free reservation line at 1-800-341-7981.

Safety

The City of St. John’s recommends the following safety tips:

  • Remain off the road if possible, to facilitate snow clearing operations
  • Follow local weather forecasts and watch for warnings and advisories
  • Emergencies that require assistance from fire, police or ambulance should be directed to 911
  • Prepare and maintain an emergency kit – be ready to cope on your own for at least 72 hours
  • Ensure you have any medications that are crucial
  • Ensure you have a battery-operated portable radio
  • Use flashlights, rather than candles and have a good supply of batteries; if you use candles don’t leave them unattended
  • Should you notice downed power lines in your area, do not touch or attempt to move them, call Newfoundland Power immediately at 1-800-474-5711

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department offers the following safety tips in the event of a power outage:

  • Electrically connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups. Make sure your home has battery operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. 

  • Everyone should know how to get out immediately if there is a fire. Plan and practice your escape plan before emergencies happen. 

  • Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns or glow sticks instead of candles. Keep a fresh supply of batteries on hand. If using candles, place them in a non-combustible holder on a flat surface at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn and out of the reach of pets and children. 

  • Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside. 

  • Purchase generators with recognized approved labels. Make sure the unit has proper 
connection receptacles and circuit breakers. 

  • Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that 
exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Allow the generator to cool before refueling. Refuel the generator outside, following manufacturer’s instructions. Store fuel for the generator in approved containers outside the home. 

  • Use only portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Provide adequate ventilation by opening a window slightly while the heater is in use. Before refueling, turn off the heater, wait for it to cool and take the heater outside to refuel. 

  • Make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from occurring when the electricity is restored. 

  • Cordless phones will not work when the power is out, so it is recommended to have at least one phone that does not require electricity to operate. 


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