Nfld. & Labrador

Heavy fog expected to hang around Nain for days, as flights remain grounded

Thursday marks Day 8 of airplanes being unable to fly because of poor visibility.

'This is an extreme situation at the moment,' says vice-president of Air Borealis

This type of weather, and the grounding of flights for eight days so far, is 'very unusual,' according to Phillip Earle of Air Borealis. (Submitted by Jenny Oliver)

The weather forecast is grim for the dozens of people stranded in Nain for more than a week because of fog, and it's expected flights will remain grounded for at least several more days. 

"Regrettably and unfortunately, the extended outlook for Northern Labrador in particular is not looking very well," said  Phillip Earle, vice-president of Air Borealis.  

"This is an extreme situation at the moment."

The problematic conditions will continue for possibly the next four days, thanks to the cold winds coming off the water and onto the land which has warmed up, according to Earle. That means reduced visibility and low ceilings, which has been the case for the last eight days. 

Earle said even accessing the weather forecasts is more complicated because communication is limited to satellite phones. 

Earle said if there is a breakthrough weather-wise, the company has aircraft on standby. The aircraft can accommodate 18 passengers, and the airline has nine planes — all of which are grounded. 

'Really unusual' for summertime

Earle said operational standstills like this are more common in the winter. 

"But certainly for the summertime, this is probably a record now," he said.

Even when things get moving again, there will be quite a backlog to clear, said Earle, noting there are passengers and cargo. 

"When the weather does clear, we will prioritize people travelling with medical appointments and so on, and obviously the food items to get them into the community," he said. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Chris O'Neill-Yates


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