Winter storm warning in effect as P.E.I. braces for 2nd major snowfall of 2022
Between 20 and 40 cm of snow and winds reaching up to 100 km/h expected
Winter storm warnings are now in effect across P.E.I. as the province prepares for the second major snowfall of the season.
CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said he has P.E.I. seeing between 20 to 40-plus centimetres of snow, with the heaviest falling late Friday night through Saturday morning, but that could also include rain, freezing rain and ice pellets over the eastern part of the province.
He is also forecasting gusts of wind between 60 km/h to as high as 100 km/h overnight into Saturday morning.
"Strong northerly winds will be a big issue late this evening through much of Saturday," Scotland said.
"These winds will make for treacherous driving conditions due to significant blowing, drifting snow. I expect blowing snow will remain an issue through most if not all of Saturday as the wind will only gradually ease through the day."
The storm is expected to start Friday afternoon as periods of snow mixed with rain begin to fall "heavy at times, mixed with ice pellets, by this evening," an alert from Environment Canada said.
Near-zero visibility is expected on P.E.I. roads as high northerly winds blow through the province, which could cause power outages in some areas.
Road conditions may deteriorate quickly in parts of the province today due to weather. Please plan ahead, drive to the conditions and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SlowDown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SlowDown</a>. <a href="https://t.co/tBU3ccoANX">pic.twitter.com/tBU3ccoANX</a>—@RCMPPEI
Maritime Electric said crews are on standby and they've also reached out to other departments to have backup staff in case of COVID-19.
"It's been a different planning of a storm for sure," said spokesperson Kim Griffin. "We're doing team calls and conference calls across the organization just to make sure that everyone is on the ready."
Griffin said some employees have tested positive for COVID-19, but they weren't in the workplace and it didn't spread. But that proves, she said, that the power utility has to have backup plans for the backup plans.
"From a readiness perspective and for storm readiness as well it's really important for us to make sure that that's a consideration for our planning and we're making sure that we have levels of redundancy of people and plans just in case," she said.
Griffin said Maritime Electric's biggest concern is the high winds and trees falling on power lines.
A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for PEI. Significant snowfall, blowing snow & wind is expected starting this evening until Saturday night. We are ready to respond if needed. If you need us, call 1-800-670-1012 or visit <a href="https://t.co/wRRAPX6wzh">https://t.co/wRRAPX6wzh</a>. Be prepared & stay safe. <a href="https://t.co/EkexOsrJ4z">pic.twitter.com/EkexOsrJ4z</a>—@MECLPEI
Most flights cancelled, wind warning at Confederation Bridge
Most flights at the Charlottetown Airport are cancelled into tomorrow, except for a Flair flight to Toronto that left at noon on Friday.
There's also a wind warning in place at the Confederation Bridge that could result in traffic restrictions Friday night and lasting until Sunday morning.
COVID-19 testing clinics in Charlottetown, Slemon Park and Borden-Carleton will be closed due to the storm, and expected to reopen Sunday.
The Charlottetown Farmers Market has been moved from Saturday to Sunday.