Blast of win­ter weather brings cold, high winds, whi­te­out con­di­tions

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER - epot­tie@cb­post.com BY ERIN POTTIE

SYD­NEY — Blame snow squalls and blow­ing snow for re­duced vis­i­bil­ity and slick road con­di­tions across Cape Bre­ton, Tues­day.

For the bet­ter part of the day, a win­ter storm sys­tem brought high winds and light snow­fall to the is­land, com­bined with bit­ter tem­per­a­tures recorded at -15 C or -26 C with the wind chill.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada me­te­o­rol­o­gist Bob Ro­bichaud said open wa­ter over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and strong north­west­erly Arc­tic air cre­ated stream­ers that blew across the is­land from the north­west into east­ern ar­eas in­clud­ing Syd­ney and Glace Bay.

“ We call them stream­ers be­cause they ac­tu­ally sort of or­ga­nize them­selves in very spe­cific lines,” he said.

“If you hap­pen to be lined up with one of those lines, you are pretty much go­ing to be in snow all day.”

Across the is­land pre­cip­i­ta­tion amounts var­ied from 15 cm of snow ex­pected in the high­lands and 2-4 cm for the rest Cape Bre­ton.

Whi­te­out con­di­tions can­celled classes at the Cape Bre­ton High­lands Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre/ Academy and at Pleas­ant Bay School and later at In­ver­ness Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre/Academy.

Driv­ers across Cape Bre­ton re­ported bliz­zard-like con­di­tions and re­duced visi- bil­ity, fol­lowed by sunny skies only a few short min­utes later.

A sec­tion of the Trans-Canada High­way at Kelly’s Moun­tain was closed shortly af­ter 7 a.m. af­ter a trans­fer truck left the road and an­other two trans­port trucks were stuck in snow. The high­way was re­opened at noon.

Const. Mark Skin­ner of RCMP Cape Bre­ton Traf­fic Ser­vices based in North Syd­ney said there were four high­way ac­ci­dents be­tween 7-9 a.m., in­clud­ing two ve­hi­cles off the road near Balls Creek on High­way 125, with no in­juries re­ported.

By Tues­day af­ter­noon, the North Moun­tain sec­tion of the Cabot Trail was also closed due to ex­treme whi­te­out con­di­tions.

“Con­di­tions were pretty bad, there was blow­ing snow and roads were snow cov­ered,” said Skin­ner.

The worst ac­ci­dent Tues­day, in­volved a 44-year-old Glace Bay man who was taken to Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Hospi­tal in Syd­ney with mi­nor in­juries af­ter a courier truck went off the road near the Alexan­dra Street exit as the driver at­tempted to merge onto High­way 125.

In the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, re­gional po­lice re­ported about half a dozen mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, none of which were be­lieved to have caused se­ri­ous in­jury.

Julie Collins - Cape Bre­ton Post

An in­jured ICS Courier driver is car­ried to an am­bu­lance af­ter his ve­hi­cle landed in the ditch near the Alexan­dra Street exit on High­way 125, Tues­day. The man was taken to the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Hospi­tal in Syd­ney, where he was be­ing treated for mi­nor in­juries. Blow­ing snow and slip­pery roads made for haz­ardous driv­ing con­di­tions through­out the day.

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