Newfoundland airports, schools reopen after big snowfall

Schools across Newfoundland are reopening for the afternoon, following heavy snowfall overnight Sunday and into Monday morning that forced closures in many rural areas on the island.

After many flights were cancelled or delayed in the early morning hours, St. John's International Airport said flight operations were returning to normal just after 9 a.m. and advised passengers to check with their carriers for updates.

Transportation and Works advised motorists to stay off the Trans-Canada Highway in many western parts of the island near Deer Lake, Corner Brook and Stephenville.

Main roads in St. John's were in generally good shape at around 6 a.m. and many schools remained open in the Metro area.

Marine Atlantic crossings at Port aux Basques and North Sydney are cancelled due to the poor weather conditions across Atlantic Canada.

Memorial University was forced to close Queens College due to flooding. The Grenfell campus in Corner Brook has postponed any exams scheduled for Monday.

College of the North Atlantic campuses on different parts of the island were forced to delay or reschedule final exams.

Wanda Rideout from Environment Canada's Gander weather office said certain parts of the island were hit harder than others.

"The highest accumulation [of snow] I found was up in Twillingate — they've got about 40 centimetres," she said.

"Stephenville got 29 centimetres out that way, and St. Lawrence got up around 26, 27 centimetres. Parts of the Avalon got about 15 centimetres."

Snowfall totals at 5:30 a.m. Monday were:

St. John's 15 cm

Terra Nova 25 cm

Gander 21 cm

Deer Lake 27 cm

Corner Brook 18 cm

Stephenville 29 cm

Rideout said the snow is now moving out of the area.

"Conditions are gradually starting to improve now. The low is currently northeast of the Avalon Peninsula," she said.

"It's quickly moving offshore, so we should see pretty good improvement now throughout the morning, anyway."

Conditions were so bad Sunday night that the Transportation department was forced to take equipment off the roads.

The same weather condition also dumped up to 30 centimetres of snow throughout the Maritime provinces over the weekend, and 25 centimetres in parts of Ontario and Quebec before heading east.

Central and western Newfoundland can expect up to another 10 centimetres of snow Monday night.

Another two to five centimetres can be expected in the St. John's metro area into the evening.

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