Hurricane-strength winds tear swath of destruction across northeast Avalon

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$45M insurance claims from March windstorm in eastern Newfoundland

Winds exceeding those that battered Newfoundland during Hurricane Igor continue to tear through through the province's northeast Avalon peninsula — ripping siding and roofs from homes, knocking out power and traffic lights, and even blowing out car windows.

Gusts up to 140 km/h are lashing the area, causing multiple power outages and damage to buildings. In Bay Roberts, a building on the wharf has had its roof ripped off.

Crews are busy responding to the influx of calls, the City of St. John's has activated its emergency operations centre, and police have asked people to avoid all unnecessary travel due to unsafe conditions.

A light pole on Thorburn Road and O'Leary Avenue in St. John's cracked under the wind, which has also blown out windows in cars and trucks on Stavanger Drive, tipped over a truck in Paradise, and tore the second storey off a home in Mount Pearl.

The weather has caused multiple power outages for thousands of people throughout St. John's, as well as in the Whitbourne area and on the Burin Peninsula. Newfoundland Power currently has no estimated restoration times.

The lights went out at St. John's Mile One Centre, delaying a Brier matchup between Team Canada and Team Northern Ontario by more than an hour before emergency generators came online and crews got the ice ready for the match to continue.

Meteorologist Justin Boudreau, of Environment Canada's Gander office, told CBC the winds are expected to subside overnight.

The entire island of Newfoundland, as well as Labrador's southeast coast, is under some form of Environment Canada weather warning or watch, from wind to blizzard to winter storm to blowing snow.

Corner Brook will see 15 to 30 centimetres of snow by tonight, while the Northern Peninsula is expecting 15 to 40 centimetres by Sunday evening.

Blizzard conditions in southeast Labrador will reduce visibility to near zero and dump between 15 and 30 centimetres of snow by Sunday morning.

The conditions are making for messy driving and other transportation headaches. Marine Atlantic has announced that its Saturday crossings between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., at both 11:45 a.m. and 11:45 p.m., will depart Sunday at 11:45 a.m., weather permitting.

Provincial ferries are also reporting widespread cancellations today, and flights are being cancelled well into the afternoon at the St. John's, Gander and Deer Lake airports.

The provincial Department of Transportation and Works is reporting snow-covered highways across the province.

- Keep track of cancellations and delays with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador's storm centre.