Snow boulders block in St. John's residents

Some St. John's residents are upset the city's plows have kept them shovelling – long after the snow has fallen.
Robyn Fleming, a resident on Livingstone Street in St. John's, took this photo Thursday after city workers left huge ice chunks in front of her home. (Courtesy Robyn Fleming)

Some St. John's residents are upset the city's plows have kept them shovelling – long after the snow has fallen.

One man, who lives on Livingstone Street, said he was frustrated with being impacted by the city's snow clearing. 

"The way that it's been handled this year has been ridiculous. We're all trying to do our part and keep it clean out here but, the second we get it done, there's a plow right behind me plowing it back in," said Craig Soper.

Soper said, as a downtown resident, he expects to do some shovelling, but this year some of the snow banks in his neighbourhood have been 'chest high.'

He said his neighbour called the city Thursday after a plow left a five foot tall mound of ice in front of her house. Although city officials came to clear it, they eventually moved it in front of his home. 

"I've cracked off both my shovels today, and I've had to use an ice pick just to get through it. You have to chip it with the ice pick and pick up the leftovers with the shovel," said Soper.

Bad weather has lead to closures

Numerous schools in Newfoundland closed Thursday morning as a nasty mix of weather, ranging from blowing snow to freezing rain, was sweeping into the island.

Schools in metro St. John's closed for the day, while light snow mixed with ice pellets moved into the area around noon.

All schools on the Avalon and Burin Peninsulas closed, as well as schools in central Newfoundland, Deer Lake, and St. George's area.

Affected areas included the Avalon and Burin Peninsulas, the Clarenville area, and southwestern Newfoundland.

Environment Canada has much of Newfoundland under various weather warnings, including blowing snow in southern Newfoundland, and freezing rain warnings on the northeast Avalon.

Many offices and businesses stayed open for the day, although some community services were cancelled.

The storm that brought heavy snow peaked around lunchtime. As many as 20 cm of snow were expected in some areas.

The Department of Transportation and Works closed the Burgeo highway around noon, saying the road was too stormy for drivers.

Flight operations out of St. John's International Airport were running on schedule, with only a few flights delayed.

Marine Atlantic cancelled the 11:45 a.m. ferry crossings scheduled for Thursday between North Sydney, N.S. and Port aux Basques due to high winds and sea conditions.

Motorists were warned that visibility will drop to near zero, with winds gusting between 70 and 100 km/h.