Nasty weather eases for most of Newfoundland as many weather warnings lift
Flights, ferries, road travel impacted
The nasty weather forecast for most of Newfoundland on Saturday is easing, as Environment Canada has lifted the majority of weather warnings around the province.
A number of warnings were issued earlier in the day, including wind warnings, which were lifted late Saturday afternoon.
Wreckhouse had the highest wind gusts, recorded at 134 km/h, while Green Island in Fortune Bay had gusts of 124 km/h.
Meteorologist Samantha Roch said "winds will continue to be strong through the day, and will eventually taper off overnight to about 50 km/h on Sunday morning."
Bruce Street between Kenmount Road and Glenco Drive in Mount Pearl was closed Saturday afternoon after debris from the roof of a commercial building was blown into the road.
The RNC says the road will not reopen until the winds subside and crews can begin the repairs to the roof.
Storm surge warnings for the entire south coast have been lifted. Higher than normal water levels with large waves were expected to continue near the coast until early afternoon Saturday.
Meanwhile, winter storm warnings issued for central Newfoundland, Corner Brook and the west coast as well as the Northern Peninsula were lifted Saturday afternoon. Heavy snow with blowing snow is forecast for Saturday.
A snowfall warning has also been lifted for interior sections of Newfoundland from the Humber Valley to Grand Falls-Windsor after heavy snow and gusty winds caused blowing snow over exposed areas at times on Saturday.
Western Labrador and the Churchill Valley are under an extreme cold warning. Wind chill values of -45 are forecast through the day and into Sunday morning.
As of 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Roch said Deer Lake had received 26 centimetres of snow.
The Department of Transportation and Works is advising motorists to not travel on a number of provincial highways and secondary roads, especially in the central, western, northern and eastern parts of the island. Travel is also not recommended on the southern Labrador highway. The department is reporting the road from Red Bay to Lodge Bay has been closed due to drifting snow and poor visibility.
A number of departures and arrivals have been cancelled or delayed at St. John's, Gander and Deer Lake airports. Marine Atlantic has also rescheduled its Saturday morning crossing from Port aux Basques to North Sydney.
On Friday, the provincial government warned people to prepare to hunker down, potentially without power, for at least 72 hours, as a combination of snow, freezing rain and high winds could cause ice buildup and outages.
Newfoundland Power reported two outages overnight, but crews restored power to those areas by morning, and there were scattered outages throughout the day Saturday.
As of 4 p.m., Newfoundland Power said there were no known outages.
But some are celebrating all the snow.
Richard Wells, marketing manager at Marble Mountain in Steady Brook, says close to 20 cm of snow fell on the mountain, but the weather wasn't as fierce as what was forecast.
Wells says skiing conditions were excellent Friday night, with a few hundred people hitting the slopes.
"The buzz was really high throughout the lodge last night, and you could tell that people were really champing at the bit to get into this storm today — not knowing the severity, of course," he said.
Despite a delayed opening Saturday with the snow and some freezing rain overnight, Wells said Saturday was "some of the best skiing Marble Mountain has had in many years."
Roch said the weather's not over just yet though. Once this current system moves through, another wintry mix is en route to Newfoundland.
"We are expecting some snow, possibly changing over to rain, Monday into Monday night," she said.
"Though that should be fairly brief, so there is a chance of some higher snowfall accumulations along the south coast."