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Update: Wild winds wreaking havoc across Newfoundland

Hurricane force winds causing wide-spread power outages, cancellations and closures

NL Hydro has sent all non-essential workers home from the Holyrood generating plant due to concerns of wind moving the exhaust stacks.

A spokesperson with NL Hydro said it was "just a precautionary measure."

"We don’t actually believe there’s any immediate risk to health and safety, but we figured we might as well keep the folks that we need there to operate the plant on site," said Erin Squires, communications manager with NL Hydro. 

Squires said they are closely monitoring the movement of the stacks but noted winds seem to be dying down. 

The two units are still in operation and NL Hydro is continuing to supply electricity from the plant. 

Squires said if anything changes customers will be notified, but right now the situation is being closely monitored.

Cape Race lighthouse keeper has a front row seat to some of the strongest waves hitting the island right now.


Earlier stories

A number of schools around the island closed for the morning due to high winds and poor road conditions will stay closed for the day, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.

Avalon peninsula schools that are shutttered until Friday include Baccalieu Collegiate in Old Perlican, Cabot Academy in Western Bay, Dunne Memorial Academy in St. Mary's, Fatima Academy in St. Bride's, Perlwin Elementary in Winterton, St. Augustine's Elementary on Bell Island, St. Catherine's Academy in Mount Carmel, Bell Island's St. Michael's Regional High, Stella Maris Academy in Trepassey, and Tricon Elementary in Bay de Verde.

A full list of NLESD closures is available here.


Power has been restored to Brother Rice junior high in St. John's and the school will open its doors at 10:45. Roncalli Elementary in Airport Heights, however, is staying closed today due to continued high winds and an adjacent construction.


Newfoundland Power and NL Hydro crews have their hands full trying to restore power to thousands of residents throughout the province this morning.

Hurricane force winds buffeting the island portion of the province and parts of coastal Labrador have knocked down power lines in a number of areas.

For more information on the power outage in your area and when crews expect it to be resolved, check out Newfoundland Power’s outage centre or NL Hydro’s.

Meanwhile, countless schools across the island are closed this morning, with the list steadily growing. With the exception of Brother Rice Junior High — currently without power — all schools in the St. John’s metro region remain open this morning.

The College of the North Atlantic Campus on Prince Phillip Drive is also closed at this hour with an update coming at 10 a.m.

Memorial University’s St. John’s campus remains open, but a section of Prince Philip Drive is closed while city crews clean up debris blown onto the road from the new science building under construction.

The city has also halted residential drop off at the Robin Hood Bay Waste Management Facility for the remainder of the day.

Dozens of flights in an out of St. John's International Airport have also been cancelled this morning. Up to date flight information is available here. Some flights out of Deer Lake, Gander and Happy Valley-Goose Bay are also impacted. 

Pretty well the entire island is under a marine weather warning from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. But it seems even the waters near shore are not safe for vessels today. Lee Tremblett from Bonavista shot a video of a boat tied up along the docks only to find it swamped and submerged when he returned a short time later.

Meanwhile, Darren Powers shot this video of waves crashing against the side of the Green Seafoods plant in Winterton, Trinity Bay.

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POLL: Newfoundland residents warned to be prepared for major storm system

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