Nfld. & Labrador

Buried alive: Here's how Newfoundland is coping with all that snow

Parts of Newfoundland are grappling with the remnants of major storms -- and it's only the first week of January. Here's how people are coping with what's on the ground.

More than 100 cm of snow has fallen over the Avalon in two weeks

Mount Pearl resident Kevin Jenkins has learned to deal with all the snow in his path, but others are struggling to cope. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Two major storms in a fortnight — plus a smattering of flurries — have buried Newfoundland under one messy blanket of snow, leaving residents wondering how they're going to keep things moving in light of still more snowfall on the near horizon.

All that coverage made even a simple activity like walking a chore for some on Tuesday afternoon, as city plows were out in droves.

"Generally I have to frown and scowl at a lot of drivers in winter," said Mandy Cook as she picked her way down a side street.

Cook said she's eager to walk as much as she can, but added irresponsible driving places unnecessary pressure on pedestrians already navigating a bumpy route of snow drifts, slush and ice.

Her technique?

"I like to put my arm out very aggressively," she said with a laugh. "I don't want to get run over by the killing machines."

Kevin Jenkins has refined his own strategy: he's mastered the massive drifts blocking off sidewalks, clearing them in just a few short strides.

"It'd be nice if the sidewalks were cleared," Jenkins said. "It's obviously not convenient. But it's nothing we haven't dealt with before."

Adam Yeatts walks his dog twice a day, and says the salt and slush from the road is hard on his pet. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Adam Yeatts, outside exercising his dog on Gower Street, said he walks everywhere.

"It's a little bit harrowing sometimes," he said, especially when cars whiz past and snow banks are too high to breach. "Pedestrians do need sidewalks."

Ongoing issue

Much of St. John's, still suffering from the after effects of Monday's storm, hasn't yet had its sidewalks cleared, with pedestrian-heavy routes seeing walkers just inches from passing cars. 

If past winters are any indication, the issue has yet to find an easy solution to snow removal on sidewalks, despite rousing the ire of pedestrians who've injured themselves on icy walkways.

Last year, Coun. Sandy Hickman even suggested heating downtown sidewalks to melt the snow.

Still more snowfall in the forecast could hamper cleanup from Monday's storm, which dumped 40 centimetres on some areas of the Avalon.

Deputy city manager of public works Lynnann Winsor said the city owns or leases 20 to 25 "pieces of sidewalk equipment" for the chore.

"We utilize them and clear the sidewalks as fast as we can," she told reporters Tuesday.

A call for help

Rainbow Riders is looking for some helping hands to clear the snow from its nine paddocks after having its 16 horses stranded inside its barns for the last two days.

The organization is a therapeutic riding program which helps children with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities.

The 16 horses at Rainbow Riders have remained in their stalls for two days after a large snowfall blocked the paddocks. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

"We were kind of caught a little unprepared. We do have a tractor with a snowblowing attachment, however, that can't get inside these paddocks," said Kelly Sandoval, executive director for Rainbow Riders.

Sandoval said the horses start to show signs of stress if they remain inside for too long.

With more snow in the forecast for eastern Newfoundland on Wednesday, Sandoval said the group is hoping people will offer up some help, with snowblowers or shovels, to ensure the horses can properly stretch their legs.

Interested volunteers can stop by the Rainbow Riders Mount Scio Road location or call ahead.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Malone Mullin and Anthony Germain