New Brunswick

Storm brings poor road conditions to New Brunswick

Snow and ice spread eastward across New Brunswick Sunday as a storm pushed through the Maritimes. Some parts of the province may see 50 centimetres of snow.

Parts of the province could receive up to 50 centimetres of snow

Wind and drifting snow reduced visibility on Prospect Street in Fredericton. (Angela Bosse/CBC)

Snow and ice spread eastward across New Brunswick Sunday as a storm pushed through the Maritimes.

Some parts of the province may see 50 centimetres of snow.

Trans-Canada Highway Route 2 is closed westbound at the Quebec and New Brunswick border. The closure is expected to be in place for several hours.

The J.C. Van Horne bridge between Campbellton and Listuguj First Nation in Quebec is also closed.

Within the province sections of two highways are closed to everyone except emergency vehicles.

Highway 108 between Halfway Inn and Renous is closed as well as Highway 180 between St. Quentin and Southeast Upsalquitch River.

In Saint John, there are reports of localized flooding. On the city's east side, Foster Thurston Drive has been closed between Ashburn Road to Sandy Point Road.

Emergency Measures Organization spokesperson Geoffrey Downey said people are encouraged to stay off the road unless it's an emergency.

"Anyone out on the highways or out on roads right now is putting themselves at risk as well as first responders and plow operators," Downey said.

Downey encourages residents in northern New Brunswick to check their property for anything that could be a hazard if blown away, and those in southern New Brunswick to check storm drains to ensure water can be drawn away from their houses in the case of localized flooding.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the whole province, with rainfall warnings in effect for Saint John and County, Fundy National Park, Grand Manan and coastal Charlotte County.

Outages continue to climb as NB Power is reporting 4,240 customers are without power. Of those, 3,737 are in the Sussex area and 388 are in the Kingston Peninsula area.

Rain, freezing rain and ice 

Freezing rain and ice pellets have started in the south end of Saint John, earlier than forecast.

Snow is expected to transform into ice pellets, freezing rain and rain in southern parts of the province this afternoon.

"That line of freezing rain is going to set up somewhere between Saint John and Fredericton and it will stretch all the way over toward Moncton up toward Miramichi," said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin.

Simpkin said there could be prolonged periods of freezing rain. Rain falling on frozen ground will cause slick spots on untreated highways and roads.

Dropping temperatures into Monday morning will also make for slick roads and poor travel conditions, Simpkin said.

Strong northeasterly winds will also develop over the afternoon, reducing visibility. Gusts of up to 90 km/h are expected in coastal areas of northeastern New Brunswick.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the whole province. (Angela Bosse/CBC)

New Brunswick RCMP Cpl. Julie Rogers-Marsh said they have received about 18 calls across the province of people going off the roads. 

So far there have only been minor accidents and no fatalities or injuries.

Travel advisories

Travel is not recommended in most of the province due to snow cover, drifting and poor visibility.

Al Giberson, general manager of MRDC Operations Corporation, said the area around Moncton is experiencing ice pellets.

"It's fairly dry so it's not packing and the snow removal equipment is able to remove it."

He said rain this evening in the eastern section of the facility will make cleanup more difficult.

"If it gets cold enough it will create some icy, slushy, packy areas, which is going to make the driving conditions very challenging."

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is prepping for the worst this weekend. Jules Michaud is with the department. 1:03

Giberson said road conditions Monday morning may still be poor.

Residents can check CBC New Brunswick's storm centre or the Department of Transportation's new automated twitter feed @brunswick511 for the most recent updates. Travel is not recommended on most roads in the province.

Grand Manan and White Head Ferry services are suspended.

Many flights are cancelled in the Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John airports.

Maritime Bus has cancelled routes today.

Stocked up on storm chips

Raymond Melanson, general manager of the Coopérative IGA in Dieppe, said the Saturday before the storm was even bigger than sales on Dec. 23. (Radio-Canada)

Northern parts of New Brunswick will be hit with the most snow over the course of the evening.

Stores were bustling Saturday as shoppers prepared to hunker down today.

Raymond Melanson, general manager of the Coopérative IGA in Dieppe, said people stocking up on Saturday for the storm meant a huge day for the store.

"Up to now, this is our biggest day on record. We even beat our sales totals from Dec. 23," he said in French. 

He said their sales topped the sales from Dec. 23 by about 10 per cent. 

There was a run on chips at Saint John Atlantic Superstore Saturday night as Saint Johners stocked up for today's storm. (Julia Wright/CBC)

He does worry about the possibility of a power outages with this storm, as he's lost product in the past as a result, but said they brought in a refrigerated truck to help cope this time. 

In Saint John, the Atlantic Superstore's chip selection was well picked over by Saturday night.

With files from Radio-Canada