Top News

Snow and wind hamper driving, knock out power on west coast

Photo courtesy NL Power
Much of the west coast of the island was battered over the last couple of days with high winds and snow. Here, a tree fell across some powerlines in Cormack.
Photo courtesy NL Power Much of the west coast of the island was battered over the last couple of days with high winds and snow. Here, a tree fell across some powerlines in Cormack. - Contributed

Drivers on the west coast had to contend with some messy conditions on the region’s roads and highways Thursday as a winter storm that started Wednesday continued.

At 6 a.m. the Department of Transportation and Works issued an advisory for motorists to use extreme caution on the Trans-Canada Highway between Deer Lake and Corner Brook due to heavy drifting and poor visibility.

It reported that some vehicles were stuck in drifts near Corner Brook.

By early afternoon the road was reported to be wet with snow and slush, but caution was still advised.

Posts to the Great Northern Peninsula Road Conditions page on Facebook reported the road from Deer Lake to Rocky Harbour as being snow-covered with moderate visibility.  

The early morning report from Transportation and Works also listed winds gusting to 95 kilometres per hour in the Wreck House area and advised tractor trailers to stay off the highway. By the early afternoon the winds had diminished to 79 km/h.

Caution was also recommended for those travelling on the Burgeo highway, which had heavy drifting and high winds in open areas.

Despite the conditions, Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachments around the region didn’t receive any calls related to accidents.

With the early start to winter, Sgt. Eric Humber with the RCMP’s Traffic Services West in Deer Lake did offer some advice for drivers.

He recommends that drivers ensure their vehicles are equipped with winter tires, fill up the windshield wash and make sure that wipers are in good condition. He also stresses that drivers should clean any ice and snow off their vehicles.

Most importantly, when it comes to driving is to reduce speed and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

“And don’t be in a hurry,” he said.

“If people adjust their speeds to the conditions then it makes it a lot safer for travelling.”

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Corner Brook wasn’t too busy with weather-related calls but did respond to a couple of car accidents. No one was hurt when someone lost control of a sport utility vehicle while trying to get down Dunbar Avenue, sending the SUV sliding through the intersection with Curling Street and up over a low retaining wall just after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The SUV was damaged, but none of the four people in it were hurt and the police investigation determined no charges were warranted.

The RNC also responded to a parking lot collision at the civic centre late Wednesday afternoon where one vehicle struck a parked vehicle.

The police also responded to a call for assistance from a driver whose car was stuck in a snowbank and a complaint of someone operating a snowmobile on a city street.

It wasn’t only the snow that caused issues during the storm.

High winds caused power outages in western Newfoundland, including parts of Corner Brook Wednesday and in Lark Harbour and the Cormack and Bonne Bay Pond areas Thursday.

As in many other parts of the province, some of the outages were caused by large, heavy trees being blown over into power lines.

According to Newfoundland Power, the storm left some 10,000 customers without electricity Wednesday and into Thursday, with central Newfoundland being the hardest hit. The utility said the high winds, whiteout conditions and poor roads all made restoration efforts difficult and dangerous.

Recent Stories