Newfoundland to get hit by heavy winds, rain, ice

After days of bone-chilling temperatures and heavy snowfalls, the island of Newfoundland will be hit by high winds, freezing rain, and then rain and mild temperatures.

Municipal, utility crews bracing for more trouble in wake of snowstorms, power shortages

St. John's public works chief Paul Makey describes how people should prepare for coming rain 5:14

After days of bone-chilling temperatures and heavy snowfalls, the island of Newfoundland is about to get hit by high winds, freezing rain, and then rain and mild temperatures.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said high southeasterly winds will hit the island late on Monday evening, first bringing several hours of freezing rain, then rain by Tuesday morning.  

"With the arrival time [of freezing rain] just before dawn it could make for an icy commute," said Snoddon. 

Snoddon said temperature could climb to nearly 10 degrees on Tuesday. 

"With the fog, the warm temps, the strong winds, the melting and runoff and then the rain, get out there and find that storm drain," said Snoddon. 

Snoddon said temperatures have been slated to drop below freezing again on Tuesday evening. 

"So all that slush and water is going to freeze up." 

Municipal, utility crews getting ready

The precipitation forecast has come in the wake of several snowstorms and power outages which have kept municipal snowclearing crews and utility workers working around the clock for days. 

Paul Mackey, the deputy city manager for the City of St. John's, said city workers have been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast and preparing for trouble. 

"We may have flooding in places that wouldn't normally see it. and certainly residents should be aware of that and keep an eye out," said Mackey. 

"Because if water builds up on the street, it's going to probably go down the nearest available driveway or something where it can get relief, and it may not be anywhere near a catch basin."

Mackey said city crews will be ready to react to any flooding that could happen. 

Meanwhile Dawn Dalley, the Nalcor vice-president who speaks on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, said hydro utility crews were on alert for potential freezing rain-related pole and line damage. 

We've got to take these things literally hour by hour.- Dawn Dalley, vice-president of corporate relations, Nalcor 

"Certainly, I can tell you that freezing rain and ice and wind for a utility is a combination that can be really precarious," said Dalley. 

"We'll have people on standby, we'll have them stationed in the appropriate places to try and respond quickly if anything happens."

Dalley said hydro crews have been working at maximum capacity for several days to try to stabilize the island's electrical grid, but they will be as ready they can be.  

"We've got to take these things literally hour by hour and day by day."


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