Big, brawny snow­storm hits East Coast

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON/PROVINCE -

A wide swath of the Mar­itimes was shut down Mon­day by a mas­sive, slow-mov­ing bliz­zard that churned out a swirling mass of snow and ice pel­lets as it trudged across the re­gion — and then re­fused to move on.

The heavy snow and pow­er­ful wind gusts — at times top­ping 120 kilo­me­tres per hour along the coast near Hal­i­fax — ar­rived in the re­gion late Sun­day and kept lash­ing the area through­out the day.

Scenes of de­serted, snow­choked streets were a com­mon sight as most res­i­dents heeded the weather warn­ings and stayed home.

Po­lice in all three prov­inces urged drivers to stay off the roads amid white-out con­di­tions. Pub­lic tran­sit was shut down in sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties, and gov­ern­ment of­fices were closed in Nova Sco­tia, P.E.I. and south­ern New Brunswick. Schools were shut­tered and air travel ground to a halt.

As the nor’easter picked up strength, Hal­i­fax res­i­dent Rae Brown was shov­el­ling off her cov­ered porch, try­ing to stay ahead of a drift lean­ing on her front door. The side­walk on Tulip Street was clogged with a me­tre of snow left be­hind by a lum­ber­ing front-end loader.

“I love it,’’ Brown said with a laugh. “I’m a win­ter-sex­ual. I love the snow. I love to ski, sled­ding, skat­ing. It’s all good.’’

But it wasn’t. The wind was howl­ing along the side street, gust­ing at more than 80 kilo­me­tres per hour. Brown, a teacher, winced as tiny shards of ice and snow hit her face.

“This is def­i­nitely a proper win­ter storm — a bliz­zard,’’ she said, her parka and knit­ted mit­tens caked in snow.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada me­te­o­rol­o­gist Tracey Tal­bot said the storm was one of the big­gest and strong­est to hit the Mar­itimes in years, but she was not aware of any sig­nif­i­cant dam­age.

The storm was ex­pected to keep pound­ing the re­gion overnight, with Cape Bre­ton hav­ing to en­dure more pun­ish­ment to­day. The eastern half of New­found­land and Labrador was ex­pected to feel the storm’s wrath by early to­day.

“This is def­i­nitely one of the most sig­nif­i­cant storms we’ve had in a long time,’’ Tal­bot said in an in­ter­view. “It’s def­i­nitely one of the worst in the Hal­i­fax area in years.’’

Snow­fall to­tals across Nova Sco­tia were ex­pected to range from 20 to 60 cen­time­tres. How­ever, some ar­eas in the Mar­itimes could be buried un­der as much as 75 cen­time­tres amid higher drifts.

By late Mon­day af­ter­noon, the heav­i­est snow was re­ported in the Fred­er­ic­ton area, where 68 cen­time­tres had fallen at the air­port. The high­est un­of­fi­cial to­tal in Nova Sco­tia was in the prov­ince’s west­ern end at Ke­jimku­jik Na­tional Park, where 45 cen­time­tres was on the ground.

By mid-af­ter­noon, the Tran­sCanada High­way was closed be­tween Sackville, N.B., and the Nova Sco­tia bor­der due to poor vis­i­bil­ity.

Storm surges were re­ported along parts of the At­lantic coast.

On the Hal­i­fax wa­ter­front, the har­bour heaved up­wards in the morn­ing, push­ing white-capped waves onto the city’s scenic board­walk, leav­ing be­hind a slushy mess.

Kate Burns and her eight­month old daugh­ter, Brooke, were try­ing to get home to Ot­tawa af­ter a week in New Brunswick, but her sched­uled flight Mon­day morn­ing was can­celled, as was another flight in the af­ter­noon.

“I’m re­ally des­per­ate to get home but I can un­der­stand de­lays with se­vere weather like this,’’ she said from her mother’s home in Rusag­o­nis, near Fred­er­ic­ton. “It’s wild out there.’’

She said she planned to fly to Mon­treal on Wed­nes­day, and then drive the rest of the way to Ot­tawa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.