Nfld. & Labrador

Dorian cleanup underway as storm moves offshore

As post-tropical storm Dorian continues to move off into the North Atlantic, winds will continue to gust across Newfoundland, while some people on the west coast are still without power Monday afternoon.

Summer out with the Dorian winds, as frost advisory takes over from tropical storm watch

A road was closed as emergency crews responded to a downed power line in Corner Brook on Sunday. ( Lindsay Bird/CBC)

As post-tropical storm Dorian continues to move off into the North Atlantic, winds will keep gusting across Newfoundland, while some people on the west coast are still without power Monday afternoon.

The Dorian storm system whipped through the west coast of Newfoundland, as well as along the south coast, and up north across to the Bonavista region.

Winds in the Wreckhouse area hit 157 km/h, and along the south coast gusts were hitting 143 km/h.

"All up the west coast really, it was in that 100 to almost 120 km/h, so those are some pretty impressive winds. You take into account the duration, too," says Rob Carroll, a meteorologist with the Environment Canada weather office in Gander.

Outages in the Bonne Bay and Humber Village areas are expected to be restored throughout the afternoon, according to Newfoundland Power.

Kathleen Billard saws through a tree that narrowly missed her home. (Lindsay Bird/CBC)

"The biggest challenge for crews has been the removal of multiple large, heavy trees in power lines due to high winds," said Newfoundland Power spokeswoman Michele Coughlan.

"Crews worked round the clock throughout the storm and continue to make progress."

Cleanup underway

Uprooted trees in Corner Brook left some residents attempting a cleanup Monday.

Kathleen Billard, who doesn't own power tools, spent the morning tackling a felled tree in her neighbour's yard "the old-fashioned way," using a handsaw.

"I'm just trying to give him a helping hand," she said.

Three huge trees were knocked over by high winds in front of an apartment in Stephenville. Billy Flowers stands in front of the downed trees to show their size. (Submitted by Ryan William Flowers)

Billard watched the tree come down, and said it's fortunate the tree missed both houses.

"It was rough, actually — very, very powerful," she said of the weekend storm. "The wind blew me across the yard pretty fast ... it's not an everyday thing for Newfoundland."

Grave damage

The high wind gusts toppled a granite arch at the cenotaph at the Deer Lake Legion, cracking one of the pillars holding the structure up.

Mike Green, with the legion, said it's not clear yet the amount of damage to the 500-pound-plus archway.

"Until we get a chance to recover the archway and get the pillars up out of the ground where it fell, and get it back to a safe place so we can take a good look at it, we won't know how much damage and how long or what it will take to fix it," Green said.

Post-tropical storm Dorian's high winds toppled the huge granite archway at the Deer Lake Legion. (Janice Forsey/Facebook)

When he heard that the arch had been knocked over, he was shocked; the winds were high, but he didn't realize it was possible to knock a granite arch over.

"It was the last thing that was in our minds yesterday, that it would topple," he said.

"We got a phone call and I couldn't believe it.… I would have thought more that the roof of the legion would blow off versus that toppling."

Meanwhile, the Mt. Patricia Cemetery is grappling with its own damage, which will leave the site closed to the public for a few days.

Manager Denna Newman says the cleanup may take longer than normal due to the sensitive nature of the area.

"It's loved ones that are resting here," she said. "It's not jut a matter of sawing up the trees and moving it. We have to take care of these individual monuments as well."

Snow in Labrador

Meanwhile, as the Dorian system tracked its way to Newfoundland, it was downgraded to a post-tropical storm. It had been upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane as it walloped parts of Nova Scotia and wreaked havoc across the Maritimes.

"When it got to Newfoundland it was mainly a wind event, where it had transitioned to post tropical.… The heavier rains actually missed Newfoundland," said Carroll.

"That being said, up in Labrador when the system went by, there was a little bit of actual wet snow in some of the higher elevations that was mixed in with the rain."

Driving to Happy Valley-Goose Bay from Cartwright on Sunday, Phoebe Davis says her children came across snow-covered roads. (Submitted by Phoebe Davis)

The storm system meant the 2,000-guest cruise ship AidaLuna had to get into port in St. John's a day early, on Saturday around noon. Their scheduled stop was for just six hours on Sunday, but as of Monday morning, the ship was still in St. John's due to the wind conditions.

Two other cruise ships — the Marco Polo and Silverwind — both cancelled due to weather, diverting to other ports, the City of St. John's said.

There were some storm surges down around the south coast, Carroll said, but nothing major was reported.

"We were a bit lucky that the tides weren't running too high this weekend," he said. "Had it been the previous weekend, we had much higher tides, it could have been a different story."

As of early Monday morning, the Dorian system is about 150 nautical miles northeast of St. Anthony, Carroll said.

"It's really moving away pretty quickly now."

After a weekend of cancellations, Marine Atlantic said its scheduled crossings for Monday will go ahead, weather permitting.

So long, Dorian, and summer

In its wake, Environment Canada has a frost advisory in effect for much of Newfoundland, as well as the south coast region of Labrador.

"It's much more fall-like now for the next couple of days," Carroll said.

Winds will continue to gust up to 70 km/h throughout Monday, he said, before gradually wearing down as the day goes on, but temperatures will stay cooler.

As the air cools and the wind dies, making room for clear skies, it also makes for "ideal conditions for the temperatures to plummet," Carroll added.

"It always seems there's a big storm that hits somewhere around this time of year, and when it goes through, that pretty well sucks summer away with it."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Lindsay Bird


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