Some schools, courts stay closed as winter storm hits Newfoundland
'I've got an all wheel drive and several times I've almost got stuck,' says courier
Snow and strong winds led to widespread closures and cancellations across most of Newfoundland on Monday, with schools, businesses and courts closed throughout the day, and many drivers complaining about road conditions.
Alex Kleminsky with Environment Canada's Gander weather office said that the Avalon Peninsula was the hardest hit, with snow and high winds peaking mid-morning.
With strong southeasterly winds, visibility at times was reduced to near zero in blowing snow. A total of 15 centimetres were forecast, and Kleminsky said snow drifts added to the danger.
Kleminsky said winds would reach 60 km/h, gusting up to 80 km/h across the island, with wind gusts up to 100 km/h along parts of the coast on the Avalon Peninsula.
CBC Meterologist Ryan Snoddon said the snow is expected to taper off by Monday afternoon, with a chance of drizzle, then flurries.
'It's not fit'
Roger Hill, a courier in St. John's, started his day at 6:30 Monday morning. He said the roads were in poor condition, with some roads in the west end of the city not being plowed as he passed over them.
"It's not fit. I've been on roads that haven't been plowed. I've got an all wheel drive and several times I've almost got stuck. If I didn't power through, I wouldn't have gotten through," said Hill.
"I wouldn't even touch the hills downtown here, I'm after seeing more vans stuck — it's not funny. If it wasn't for places still being open, I'd still be in bed."
Robert Fillier, a cab driver in St. John's, said road conditions are worse than in years past, and there have likely been more accidents.
"It seems like it takes forever for plows and sanders to come out, it's actually putting people's lives in danger by not coming out when they normally would have," he said.
"This winter, with the budget and the cuts and all this stuff, it wasn't like this before."
Despite the snowy roads, Fillier said the weather doesn't deter him.
"People still need cabs, still got to go to work."
Closures and cancellations
- Eastern Newfoundland Storm Centre closures and cancellations
- Central Newfoundland closures, cancellation in our Storm Centre
- Western Newfoundland closures and cancellations in our Storm Centre
The weather caused closures across much of the island.
It's still slow going on Queen's Road. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash">#nlwx</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nltraffic?src=hash">#nltraffic</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y8ecDy2ji2">pic.twitter.com/Y8ecDy2ji2</a>—@GarrettBarry
Many schools, as well as Memorial University's St. John's campus and College of the North Atlantic campuses, were shut Monday, with most schools deciding to remain closed.
All libraries and courts across the island, as well as some government offices were also closed Monday. Matters scheduled for court will be called Tuesday at the same time.
High winds. Blowing snow. Empty roads. A scene from the TCH at Salmonier Line. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash">#nlwx</a> <a href="https://t.co/wwTIMids9b">pic.twitter.com/wwTIMids9b</a>—@TRobertst
Snowing and -9 in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CornerBrook?src=hash">#CornerBrook</a>, -13 wind chill. Very slippery on city streets, take it easy. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nltraffic?src=hash">#nltraffic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash">#nlwx</a> <a href="https://t.co/llzQZ4k984">pic.twitter.com/llzQZ4k984</a>—@briancbctraffic
Travel has also been hampered by the weather, as blowing snow led to white outs and poor visibility.
The Department of Transportation and Works also advised drivers to stay off the Burgeo Highway due to stormy conditions.
Motorists are advised to stay off Route 480, Burgeo Highway, due to heavy and blowing snow. Too stormy for equipment to operate. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nltraffic?src=hash">#nltraffic</a>—@TW_GovNL
A number of flights have also been cancelled at St. John's International Airport and Marine Atlantic crossings between Port aux Basques and North Sydney have been delayed.