Power being restored following blizzard in N.L.

Poor weather on Thursday hampered the ability of power crews to resolve electrical outages caused by a ferocious storm that tore across Newfoundland overnight.
Scenes of Wednesday night's stormy weather in St. John's 3:31

Poor weather on Thursday hampered the ability of power crews to resolve electrical outages caused by a ferocious storm that tore across Newfoundland overnight.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said approximately 1,100 customers in Rocky Harbour and Norris Point were without power. Winds in the area unofficially exceeded 200 km/h on Wednesday night. 

"Restoration efforts are being impacted by the weather," Hydro said in a statement released around noon on Thursday..

Hydro said in a statement issued at 4 p.m. that customer restoration began at 4:00 for customers in the communities of Norris Point and Rocky Harbour. Because power was out for an extended period, the utility said customers would be brought back online slowly. It was anticipated that all customers would have electricity by approximately 5 p.m. 

Hydro added the outage was caused by problems with equipment, which also slowed restoration times. Electricians travelling to Rocky Harbour were delayed due to road conditions on the Northern Peninsula. 

This home in Norris Point lost a full-length deck and pieces of roofing during a blizzard that included high winds. (Courtesy of Ian Stone)
Schools in various parts of the province, including Corner Brook, Bonavista and Clarenville, were closed for at least the morning as the storm cleanup kicked into a higher gear. 

The storm also shut down many activities on Thursday in Labrador, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to most coastal communities. 

Wind warnings remained in effect Thursday morning along coastal areas, with blizzard conditions still slamming the island's Northern Peninsula. A peak gust of 185 km/h was recorded in the notorious Wreckhouse area in the Codroy Valley, in southwestern Newfoundland.

Marine Atlantic docked its vessels for the second day in a row, with crossings between North Sydney, N.S. and Port aux Basques not expected to resume before Friday.

Most flights into St. John's and Deer Lake airports were cancelled overnight, leading to delays through Thursday.

West coast gets hit

The brunt of the storm slammed western Newfoundland before heading toward Labrador. Eastern parts of Newfoundland were spared much of the snow, although winds early Thursday were gusting at more than 130 km/h at the Narrows in St. John's harbour.

By Thursday morning, travel was still difficult because of accumulated snow.

On the west coast, whiteout conditions prompted police to urge people to stay off roads on Wednesday night.

Highway crews, however, made progress clearing roads on the island. The Northern Peninsula highway opened late on Thursday morning, and Department of Transportation crews widened narrow sections. In southwestern Newfoundland, the Trans-Canada Highway was cleared between Tompkins and Port aux Basques. The Burgeo highway remains closed.

The road to Rose Blanche on the island's southwest coast was also blocked, keeping a Newfoundland Power crew from getting to the area to restore power in the community. Electricity was lost shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday.