East Coast digs out from storm, bracing for more snow
Published Friday, December 28, 2012 6:29AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 29, 2012 9:37AM EST
While people in Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick dig out from record-breaking snowfall, those in Newfoundland are bracing for their turn as the massive storm moves east. And Friday may not even be the end of it, as a second storm is forecast for the region this weekend.
The northeast coast and central parts of Newfoundland are expected to receive anywhere between 20 and 30 centimetres of snow on Friday, the highest amounts forecast of anywhere in the province. Winds are expected to gust to up to 100 kilometres an hour along the island's south coast.
It’s the latest blow from a storm that’s causing travel havoc. Air Canada issued travel alerts for several cities in New Brunswick and Labrador on Friday, and has warned customers that flights to or from St. John's International Airport may be delayed or cancelled. Flight delays are still rippling throughout the region.
It hasn’t been any easier for travellers hoping to get around by boat. Marine Atlantic vessels were tied up due to high winds and rough seas on the Cabot Strait and no daytime crossings to Nova Scotia were scheduled.
Snowfall breaks records
This is the same storm system that left Montreal buried under a record 45 centimetres of snow Thursday, breaking the previous one-day record of 43 centimetres set in March 1971. The city reported many road accidents, including a pileup involving at least 15 vehicles on a highway east of the city. No serious injuries were reported.
The storm also led to scores of flight cancellations and vehicle abandonments, including those involving a number of city buses.
Quebec police had to resort to snowmobiles to answer some emergency calls. Hydro Quebec workers also had to use snowmobiles and snowshoes to reach customers who were still waiting for power to be restored from a previous storm.
After the storm left Quebec, it landed in northern and south-central areas of New Brunswick late Thursday, with a total of 38 centimetres falling around Moncton. Residents woke up to snowed-in driveways and in many cases, unplowed streets, making for a slow start for those headed to work on Friday. About 2,600 New Brunswick Power customers lost electricity due to the storm, but it has since been restored to all but 150.
“It's crazy,” said local resident Chris Larocque, surveying the snow-banked streets Friday morning. “I didn't think it would be like this today. It's unreal.”
While most of the major driving routes in the area have now been cleared, sections of TransCanada Highway remain covered in slush and dangerous for drivers.
Some snow also fell across parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, followed with rain driven by heavy winds.
The region saw its share of weather-related traffic accidents, particularly due to icy roads and poor visibility. In Halifax, where about 20 centimetres of snow fell, one driver lost control on the road and slid into a pedestrian who was on the sidewalk, sending that woman to hospital with a broken leg.
It was Halifax’s second major storm in just over a week, with about 20 centimetres of snow falling on Dec. 19 as well.
Toronto’s first major snowfall
The storm also touched down in Ontario on Thursday, where provincial police reported several single-vehicle collisions -- in Pickering, St. Catharines, Vaughan and beyond -- as vehicles ended up in ditches or stranded on roadways.
The storm marked Toronto’s first major snowfall of the season. The city hasn’t received more than 10 centimetres of snow since March 23, 2011, when 12.6 centimetres of snow was recorded at Pearson International Airport.
At least one death in Toronto was blamed on the storm, after a man collapsed and died while shovelling his driveway.
With reports from The Canadian Press
A driver make his way on a cleared path between between buried cars following the first major snowstorm in Montreal, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Snow removal workers clear a street following the first major snowstorm of winter in the Montreal region, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Maurice Desrosiers, left, digs out his car in Montreal, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ottawa residents dig their way out of a snowstorm Friday, Dec. 28, 2012.