Another storm looms just as Newfoundland cleans up from messy blizzard
Up to 58 cm fell in some areas of the province
Sore muscles, blocked walkways and the sound of snowblowers were common across much of Newfoundland Thursday, as people dealt with a boomerang blizzard that dumped dozens of centimetres of snow and clogged streets.
Digging out after this week's dumping across the province is no small feat, even for the young and spry.
But St. John's resident Alfred Russell Simmons, who might have grappled successfully with his 20-metre driveway a few decades ago, said he struggled to keep up with Wednesday's blizzard.
"I need help because I can't shovel so much anymore," he told CBC News Thursday. "I come down, I shovels a bit, I goes in and sits down on the porch ... at 73, I can't do it."
After a few attempts to clear a path, he gave up and called a local radio station with his plea.
Simmons said someone with a plow heard the call and rang him up, offering to do the job for $160. "We can't afford that," Simmons said.
Eventually a friend came by to help, allowing Simmons to gingerly pick his way through the frozen remains when leaving his house.
But there's still more to clear, he said — and another storm could be on the way.
New storm brewing for weekend
Back-to-back blizzards dropped 58 cm of snow in Gander and 46 cm in St. John's.
Simmons wasn't the only one struggling to move about.
"If I was 5 and I could play in it, it would be good," laughed student Kelly Morris, chipping away at a knee-high drift outside her St. John's home. "But not when you have to shovel it."
The west coast dealt with lesser amounts: 22 cm fell in Stephenville and 19 cm settled on Deer Lake.
Winds were intense across the province Wednesday, reaching a high of 130 km/h in Bonavista for a period of at least four hours. Gusts topped out just above 100 km/h in St. John's.
As one major storm departs, there's another heading in.
Spose the bys will be rolling on to George Street, as opposed to off <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nlwx</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snowmageddon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#snowmageddon</a> <a href="https://t.co/PykQWIYVzc">pic.twitter.com/PykQWIYVzc</a>—@kattieshack
"It is winter, and we do have another low pressure system we're watching now," said Tabea Fiechter, a meteorologist with the Gander weather office.
"Still some discrepancy, but there's definitely something on the way for late in the day on Sunday and through Monday."
For people in Gander and the Bay of Exploits regions, it's especially foreboding.
"They'll probably get hit fairly bad again," Fiechter said. "We're looking at possibly similar amounts to what we just had."
Snowblower retailer pleased
Scott Young, an owner at snowblower retailer Fun 'n' Fast, said he couldn't be happier with the winter so far.
"We have already been selling out some of our Toro snowblowers," he said. "We are reordering some outerwear, we are reordering parts, and that is pretty early for us to be restocking."
St. John's resident Matthew Brocklehurst is equally happy about the storm. For him, winter means Ski-Doos and pond skating.
"I love it," he said.
Brocklehurst was even out clearing his father-in-law's driveway after finishing his own. "Any excuse to use my snowblower," he chuckled.
Air, road travel still an issue
As the snow tapered off Wednesday night, the temperatures dropped across the province, falling to –16 in Gander, –15 in Clarenville, and –11 in St. John's as of Thursday morning.
With wind chill, Gander felt like –27.
More <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nlwx</a> storm stats from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GanderWest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GanderWest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CoCoRaHSCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CoCoRaHSCanada</a> CAN-NL-82.<br><br>Duration: 33 hrs continuous snow.<br><br>Water content: 29.5 mm. With 57.5 cm snowfall, snow:water ratio approx 20:1.<br><br>Significant compaction: avg snow depth only increased from 29 cm pre-storm to 64 cm post-storm. <a href="https://t.co/gV92ibeOVc">pic.twitter.com/gV92ibeOVc</a>—@rcbstormpost
For air travellers, flights are still an issue, despite the weather calming down. St. John's International Airport had at least six cancelled departing flights on Thursday, including three to Toronto.
Gander was showing one cancellation — an Air Canada Jazz flight from Halifax.
Driving downtown St. John’s is turning into a bit of a nightmare. With so much snow pushed to the side of the street there’s not enough room for two lanes. Everyone is trying to wiggle past each other which is causing some traffic <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/79nsix4cqW">pic.twitter.com/79nsix4cqW</a>—@megdroberts
The roads were also an issue Thursday, with police issuing morning advisories about the Trans-Canada Highway between Holyrood and St. John's. The Witless Bay Line was also shut down into the early morning, but has since reopened.
Several routes around the province were hampered by blizzard conditions, causing plows to be pulled off the road late Wednesday evening.
By early morning, most roads were listed as being in good or fair condition, although the Department of Transportation and Works warned of drifting in some open areas.
With files from Bailey White and Meg Roberts