Public warned against driving while messy winter storm persists
Environment Canada says people should postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve
New Brunswickers are urged to avoid non-essential travel as a messy winter storm continues to create hazardous driving conditions across the province.
More than 40 cm of snow and more than 10 mm of freezing rain are expected to fall Friday and into early Saturday, with winds picking up as well.
Travel not recommended advisories have been issued for most major highways in northern New Brunswick, including the Trans-Canada Highway from Woodstock north the Quebec border, says Felicia Murphy, spokesperson for SNC-Lavalin, the company that maintains the Trans-Canada Highway between Longs Creek and the Quebec border.
Murphy said there's poor visibility along the route. It improves slightly between Woodstock and Fredericton, but she still cautioned drivers against hitting the road.
It’s a stormy day in the province. Your vehicle may not react the way you expect in poor weather conditions. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SlowDown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SlowDown</a> and leave extra space between vehicles. It will increase your chances of avoiding a crash—@RCMPNB
Quebec has closed Route 85, which meets New Brunswick's Route 2 at the border, she added.
Major highways in southern New Brunswick are either covered or partly covered, according to the province's road conditions website.
Watch: This is how the messy winter weather looks like in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John
MRDC, the company that maintains the Trans-Canada Highway from Longs Creek to Moncton, said roads are slushy and slippery and drivers should reduce their speed.
Northern New Brunswick remains under a winter storm warning, with heavy snow expected to continue falling Friday evening before tapering off overnight, according to Environment Canada. Total snowfall could reach 45 cm, and some ice pellets could be in the mix.
The federal agency said the northeasterly winds will gust from 80 to 100 km/h on the Acadian Peninsula, creating blowing snow and whiteout conditions.
Wind warnings are also in place for eastern and southeastern New Brunswick.
Environment Canada has issued freezing rain warnings for southern New Brunswick. Up to 15 mm is expected along with ice pellets before changing to rain later in the evening.
"Temperature will fall rapidly tonight as strong northwesterly winds develop," the warnings stated.
"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous. Ice buildup may cause tree branches to break. Beware of branches or electrical wires that could break under the weight of ice."
The messy conditions closed all schools and universities for the day, while cancelling flights and a number of events.
Mike Walker, roadway operations manager for the City of Fredericton, urged drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution when travelling on slippery surfaces.
"Give yourself some time, some extra space and just pay attention to the road," Walker said.
Jeff Scott, the general foreman for the City of Moncton, said roads there are also slippery.
"We're going to keep on monitoring [the roads] and applying salt," Scott said.
Rapidly accumulating snow and strong winds causing blowing snow will make travelling difficult.
With files from Information Morning Fredericton, Sarah Morin and Shift New Brunswick