The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District closed the province's largest high school on Thursday, as extremely high winds damaged the school's roof.

An official said the district was bringing in a crane to assess the roof and felt it was best to dismiss students while the crane was at the school.

There are also unofficial reports that some windows were blown out.

For the second time this month, a shipping container was blown off the Oceanex wharf and into St. John's harbour. A tugboat secured the container a short time after it landed into the water. 

Rogue container in St. John's harbour

A container that blew into St. John's harbour on Thursday morning was retrieved by a tugboat a short time later. (CBC)

Winds have also delayed or cancelled flights at St. John's International Airport. Winds were reported to have gusted up to 112 kilometres an hour at the airport.  

Meanwhile, the RCMP re-opened the Trans-Canada Highway between Foxtrap and the Salmonier Line. It had been closed for more than two hours due to high winds and ice. 

Cpl. Trevor O'Keefe said the treacherous conditions caused a couple of accidents. 

"The wind was actually blowing the vehicles across the ice on the highway. It was quite dangerous, one of the worst mornings I've seen," he said. "When we actually got out of the vehicles to attend to the accident, the wind was blowing us onto the ice ... it was even difficult to get to the scene."

O'Keefe said there were no injuries. 

Power outages hit greater St. John's area

Thousands of people in the metro area also lost power on Thursday. 

Newfoundland Power spokesperson Michele Coughlan said the gale force winds whipping across the northeast Avalon damaged many overhead power lines.

"The main cause as the result of the high winds would be the trees coming in contact with the power lines, or the power lines flapping together as a result of the high winds."

At its peak, about 3,800 homes and businesses were without electricity. Most had power back within a couple of hours.