SNOW AND ICE
On the night of Mar. 4, 1910, crews were clearing snow off the railway tracks near Revelstoke, B.C. Just before midnight a wall of snow swept down the mountain, burying 58 workers. After the tragedy, the Canadian Pacific Railway dug a tunnel into the mountain to protect against avalanches. One of the darkest events in our history is the 1914 sealing disaster. It happened before Newfoundland and Labrador were part of Canada. March 30 and 31 are still remembered there as terrible days. Two ships, the Newfoundland and the Southern Cross, sailed into ice-filled waters. The men on board the Newfoundland jumped onto the floating ice to hunt seals. It was dangerous work even in good years, but this time, a blizzard set in and 77 men drowned or froze trying to get back to the ship; another died later. The Southern Cross was heading back to St. John’s in hopes of claiming the prize for the first ship to return from the seal hunt. It was loaded down with pelts when it sank, taking 173 men to their deaths. Much less serious was the ice storm of January 1998 in eastern Canada that saw days of freezing rain pile up nearly twice as thick as had ever been seen, especially in Quebec and eastern Ontario. The weight of the ice pulled down 120,000 kilometres of power and telephone lines. It snapped telephone poles and crumpled electrical towers. More than one million homes lost power, some for weeks on end. Electricity workers from all over North America came to help.
Men hunting seals on the ice off Newfoundland