State of emergency in Badger as storm causes havoc
Marine Atlantic keeps its ferries to Nova Scotia tied up as high winds roil Cabot Strait
A state of emergency was called in the central Newfoundland town of Badger Thursday, as a fierce storm with high winds tore down power lines.
The storm caused problems from the west coast of Newfoundland through to the northeast coast, with power outages reported in numerous locations.
The brunt of the storm, though, has been felt in Badger and other central Newfoundland communities, where driving conditions turned treacherous.
"The weather here is terrible," said Badger gas station owner Kevin Loder.
"This is the worst I've ever seen it for some time, in a short period of time."
Newfoundland Power is trucking in a generator for Badger, with power expected to be restored tomorrow. Repairs to about two dozen power lines will take a few days to complete.
"That heavy, wet snow that this system brought with it, along with the high winds, [brought down] poles were on exposed areas — right on the edge of narrow roads or close to the water," said communications director Michelle Coughlan.
Power disruptions were reported far and wide, including in Grand Falls-Windsor, Englee and Rocky Harbour. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro crews are also responding to problems in the Crown corporation's service areas.
Meanwhile, CBC reporter Lindsay Bird said she has seen damaged power lines all along the Trans-Canada Highway in the area.
"All of these power lines have just been snapped and toppled over and are clustered and tangled in together," said Bird.
"Most people [in Badger] are either taking refuge with someone who has a generator or huddling around the wood stove at the moment."
Bird added that the power outage has also knocked out water to homes in the community.
"Some people thought ahead to fill up their tubs last night and they're using that water for now."
Newfoundland Power officials said they hope to have power restored to other areas by Thursday night.
High winds along coast
Winds hit 136 km/h in Twillingate, on Newfoundland's northeast coast, and more than 100 km/h in many places, such as Port aux Basques, where Marine Atlantic kept its ferries connecting Newfoundland and Nova Scotia tied up for safety reasons.
Environment Canada is warning residents of communities on Newfoundland's northeast coast to watch for possible storm surges.
Schools in numerous communities closed for at least the morning, affecting students in such places as Corner Brook, Stephenville, Botwood and Englee.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Corner Brook urged drivers to use caution because of deteriorating road conditions.
Still, it was business as usual for many people, as most businesses and public services in affected areas stayed open.