Blowing snow remains a hazard as Islanders dig out
'Even roads already cleared may quickly become snow covered again in places due to drifting'
A winter storm has mostly done its work on P.E.I., but travel conditions will remain poor for some time across most of the province.
Environment Canada lifted its winter storm warnings for Queens and Kings counties at 1:50 p.m. AT Monday, after a major dump of snow aggravated by high winds that began late Sunday night.
More than 30 centimetres of snow fell in much of central and eastern P.E.I. There is less in Prince County, and provincial civil service offices began opening in West Prince at 12:30 p.m.
Offices remained closed for the day in the rest of the province. Schools were also closed, as were UPEI and Holland College.
The wind was blowing at 30 km/h with gusts to 60 at Charlottetown Airport, and was forecast to blow at 40 km/h with gusts to 60 through to Tuesday morning.
"Blowing and drifting snow will continue to pose a problem, particularly for exposed areas," said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.
"This means that even roads already cleared may quickly become snow covered again in places due to drifting. Visibility will also be bad in places as northwest winds from 30-60-plus km/h whip up the existing snow pack. Rural areas near fields are the biggest culprit for this."
RCMP had been telling Islanders to stay off the roads unless it is an emergency. Early Monday morning, RCMP rescued a man who had been stuck in a snow-filled ditch for hours.
Light snow began falling around 9 p.m. Sunday, gradually growing in intensity. The wind began to pick up around 3 a.m., creating more hazardous conditions.
Visibility was almost zero in parts of the province. Plows were pulled off the roads in Kings County at about 3:30 a.m., but were sent back out at 7:30 a.m.
The temperature is expected to drop to -10 C by Tuesday morning, with a sunny day expected.