#StateOfEmergency; #StJohn&NeighboringMunicipalities; #StrongWinds; #PoorVisibility; #ManySchoolsShutDown, #MassiveStormInEastNewfoundland; #FlightsCancelled
Newfoundland, Jan 17 (Canadian-Media): A state of emergency was declared on Friday at 11 a.m.in the city of St. John's and neighbouring municipalities -- including Paradise, Torbay, Portugal Cove-St. Philips and Mount Pearl -- as the eastern part of Newfoundland was hit by a massive storm system followed by power failure, media reports said.
A powerful storm in St John's/ Facebook
The powerful storm forced the Newfoundland and Labrador government to pull its plows from regional highways.
Transportation Minister Steve Crocker said the main issue was visibility and added,
"It's no longer safe. You can just imagine, the size of the equipment that our operators are operating, and they're out there and they don't know where a road ends or where a road begins in a lot of cases."
Last declaration of a state of emergency in St. John was in 1984 when an ice storm struck the region.
Environment Canada has a blizzard warning in effect for much of eastern Newfoundland, as well as the Bay of Exploits and the Bonavista Peninsula on the north coast.
"This is gonna be a bad storm," says Mike Vandenberg, meteorologist at the Environment Canada weather office in Gander, N.L.
"Visibility is expected to stay pretty bad with a lot of snow blowing around for the next 36 hours or so."
Schools, metrobus' public transit service and most flights at St. John's International Airport have been cancelled.
It could take a couple of days for St. John's to fully dig out, Vandenberg said.
The conditions of blizzard are expected to persist into Saturday afternoon.
A public advisory, citing the possibility of poor to near zero visibility, and warning of possible coastal flooding and elevated water levels has been issued by the province.