'Vicegrip' storm whips through N.L., causing delays, travel warnings

The Friday morning commute was an ugly one for those attempting to make the trip to work, while many schools closed, at least for the morning, from coast to coast across the island portion of the province.

Blowing snow made for severely reduced visibility on open roads, with an early morning advisory put in place to not travel between the Codroy Valley and Port aux Basques, or between Holyrood and St. John's.

At noon, the Trans-Canada Highway reopened between Foxtrap Access Road and Salmonier Line in both directions after multiple early morning crashes in the area forced its shutdown for about four hours.  

The RCMP were on scene to redirect traffic through Holyrood and Conception Bay South.

The Witless Bay Line also closed early in the morning.

"We certainly are struggling to keep up with what's going on out there," said RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland.

"We drive regular vehicles, as does the general motoring public, so it's not like we're in special equipment. We have to be cautious of our own safety and the safety of others on the road."

At least one vehicle was abandoned on the TCH in the morning.

Shortly before 9 a.m. the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary announced the Trans-Canada Highway westbound lane near the Irving in St. John's had been closed due to poor visibility. 

Snowfall ramped up through the morning before dying down in the afternoon.

So. Many. Storms.

Newfoundland and Labrador has seen an unusual amount of winter storms so far this year.

Twenty-two, for those keeping track.  

Adam Walsh/CBC

Meteorologist Alex Kleminski said the Gander weather office team runs through the alphabet when naming storms in N.L., and Friday's storm was brought to the province by the letter V — or "Vicegrip," as the team is calling it. 

"Usually we cycle back through A, B, C, D a little later in the spring, but we might even get further past the beginning of the alphabet again," he said. 

But there's some good news to follow Friday's storm. Kleminski said Friday evening should be smooth sailing for most of the island. 

However, don't tuck your shovels away when February begins to draw to a close. Another small dumping of snow is expected for central and eastern Newfoundland on Sunday. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador