Under 2+feet of snow: Historic N.L. blizzard closes cities, avalanche set off

Digital Writers
Under 2+feet of snow: Historic N.L. blizzard closes cities, avalanche set off

Conditions across Newfoundland are finally beginning to let up Saturday morning across the province, but lingering strong winds are expected through the day along the west coast, where they could create sea-effect snow.

For many in eastern Newfoundland, the record-setting monster storm that fell upon the province at full strength Friday will be one to remember, with snowfall totals reaching 75 cm in some areas in a 36-hour period. Wind gusts have hit 130 km/h, but in St. John's, the airport has had sustained winds of more than 100 km/h since 5:30 p.m. local time Friday.

The powerful winds have put an excess amount of pressure on the province's electricity grid, with thousands of customers still without power Saturday morning. The latest outages from Newfoundland Power can be found here.

States of emergency are still in place after being declared Friday across multiple communities, including St. John's, as the powerful blizzard starts to ease off through the province.

CBC reported the St. John's Regional Fire Department responded to an avalanche in the Battery area Friday night, which damaged at least one home and prompted evacuations, but no one was injured.

St. John's Mayor Danny Breen declared a state of emergency Friday morning and it will remain in effect until further notice. The communities of Paradise, Mount Pearl, Torbay, and Portugal Cove - St. Philips followed suit soon after. Norman's Cove-Long Cove, Come By Chance, Conception Bay South, Bonavista and Chapel Arm later made their own declarations.

READ MORE: Dangerous blizzard strikes Newfoundland

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says non-emergency vehicles have also been ordered off the roads in the other communities that have declared a state of emergency. The storm is so powerful that the Newfoundland and Labrador government has also pulled its plows from regional highways.

Bonavista Mayor John Norman declared a state of emergency for the town about 300 kilometres northwest of St. John's.

In an interview with the CBC, Bonavista Mayor Norman said a town plow will be available as an escort to the hospital in the event residents need medical assistance.

Schools were also shut down as rapidly deteriorating conditions made for poor and dangerous travel before the morning commute. Metrobus also cancelled its public transit service, with most flights cancelled at St. John's International Airport as well.

Rainbow Riders NL -- an organization that provides therapeutic horse riding to children and youth with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges -- tweeted Friday that their staff spent Thursday night sleeping in the barn with the horses to keep them comfortable amid the freezing temperatures.

MORE SIGHTS FROM THE STORM: MONSTER BLIZZARD HITS NEWFOUNDLAND

IF CHRIS MURPHY SHOWS UP IN YOUR TOWN, YOU KNOW IT'S 'BAD NEWS':

Thumbnail courtesy of Amanda Somerton.

VIDEO: 'WELL...GUESS WE'RE STAYING IN': NEWFOUNDLANDERS ARE BEING SNOWED IN ACROSS THE PROVINCE