Blizzard hits Labrador, as Newfoundland faces blustery Tuesday

·3 min read

A winter storm has brought snow, blizzard conditions and cancellations to parts of Labrador Tuesday, as gusty winds also created travel delays and problems on Newfoundland.

By Tuesday evening, 70 centimetres of snow had fallen in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Tuesday's snowfall alone broke the previous single-day record in November from 1944. The north coast and central parts of Labrador remained under a blizzard warning.

"It's just going to be a dirty, dirty day across Labrador, really — no better way to put it," Mike Vandenberg, a meterologist with Environment Canada, said Tuesday morning.

Winds were also high in central Labrador, gusting between 80 to 90 km/hr, causing extremely poor visibility.

"If you can stay home, that would be great," said Vandenberg, adding conditions won't improve much throughout Tuesday.

Garrett Barry/CBC
Garrett Barry/CBC

That was a sentiment echoed by Happy Valley-Goose Bay resident David Martin, who turned off his snowblower to chat with CBC's Garrett Barry.

"If you don't need to get out, I wouldn't," said Martin.

He said his nine-year-old son was too young to help dig out, so he was inside playing video games — for now.

"Two more years and he's doing the snowblower and old dad will be staying in the house," Martin said, laughing.

Schools closed, mail delivery halted, flights cancelled

Schools in both Happy Valley-Goose Bay and North West River closed for the day Tuesday, as well as the regional College of the North Atlantic campus.

The blizzard warnings stretched up the coast from Postville to Hopedale, although somewhat less snow was expected in the area, with about 20 centimetres forecasted for Hopedale and up to 40 centimetres for Makkovik, along with wind gusting up to 100 km/hr.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Canada Post issued a red alert for mail delivery in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and North West River. That means the agency is suspending service for the day and isn't sending workers outdoors, citing unsafe conditions.

Air Borealis cancelled its Tuesday flights to coastal Labrador, citing the weather.

The snowfall amounts will taper off in southern coastal areas of Labrador, with rain expected in the most southerly areas.

Windy island

While the snow is skipping Newfoundland for the most part, almost all of the island's coastlines were under a wind warning, with gusts between 80 to 100 km/h expected. Stronger gusts up to 120 km/h are possible in some places, such as coastal eastern Newfoundland.

The Wreckhouse area may see gusts up to 140 km/h. Strong winds knocked a transport truck onto its side, RCMP said in a warning Tuesday morning, partially blocking the westbound lane of the Trans-Canada Highway just outside of Port aux Basques.

Unplanned power outages were reported on parts of the island Tuesday morning, with Newfoundland Power citing weather to blame for outages in Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, and St. Fintan's-Loch Levan in the Bay St. George South area.

Marine Atlantic cancelled its day crossings Tuesday, and warned its night crossings may also be affected by the weather.

Some intraprovincial ferry routes were also out of commission due to the wind Tuesday morning, with the Bell Island to Portugal Cove run as well as St. Brendan's to Burnside holding in port due to high winds.

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