Man, 76, carried over huge Gander Bay snowbanks to get to ambulance

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Man, 76, carried over huge Gander Bay snowbanks to get to ambulance

A team of firefighters, paramedics and family members helped carry a 76-year-old man Wednesday from a snowed-in house in Victoria Cove to an ambulance waiting on the other side of the drift.

Glenn Torraville's grandfather was carried out on a stretcher after he hit his head in their Gander Bay home.

A huge snowbank stopped the ambulance from reaching his front door, so the group walked him up, over and down the snow bank towards the waiting ambulance — a trip that was more than a kilometre.

"We had to take my grandfather on the backboard, and lug him up over these 15, 16-foot-high drift banks," Torraville said. "I had to call the members of the fire department, and thank God for them."

Torraville was worried, but says his grandfather — who hit his head around 1 p.m. Wednesday — has since been discharged.

An unreal snowstorm

Torraville gives Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Transportation full marks — he said they tried to clear out a path for the ambulance once he called — but the snow dumped on his region is just too much to handle.

Snow drifts in some parts of the area are more than twice the size of a vehicle.

"This is more like the storms they used to have back the old days," he said. 

"Unreal how much we got in a short amount of time and how windy it was, you couldn't even see the next-door neighbour's house." 

Veronica Head, who lives on Tibbey's Point Road in the town, agrees.

"It's crazy, you'd have to be here to see it."

She's also shut in from the snow, unable to get onto the main highway. Head says she was dug out for a short period of time following the week's first blizzard, but was snowed in again by a second storm.

"You can't get around, unless you got a Ski-Doo, you can't go anywhere," she said. "Like, you can't get off this road, it's crazy." 

"It's a state of emergency for sure. Unless you can get to the main road, you're stuck."

Head said about 15 people live on her street. Other side streets in the area are snowed in as well.

She said a local grocery store has sold out of bread and milk.

Plows were still out moving snow on Thursday, but they were slow going — advancing only a few dozen metres throughout the morning.