Published on : Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Most of the Eastern and Central Canada is battered by a violent winter storm that’s bringing icy cold winds and could dump as much as 50 centimetres of snow in some regions. In the Maritimes, New Brunswick is bracing for the brunt of it, with 30 to 50 centimetres of snow expected today for northern parts of the province, and 15 to 30 centimetres expected in the southern parts.
Environment Canada says that the snow will change over to ice pellets and freezing rain this afternoon or evening, then to rain tonight over southern and central parts of the province.
This powerful storm brought heavy snow and rain and bitter temperatures to much of Eastern and Central Canada, reminding Canadians of the many ways an intolerant climate can disrupt their lives.
This widespread storm closed schools, flooded streets, knocked out power and forced school buses to stay off the roads in many areas Monday as temperatures began to plummet.
In Quebec and Ontario, the extreme cold warnings remained in place with wind chills expected to drop to almost minus 40 in Toronto. In some areas, though, it was warm temperatures that caused havoc.
In Saint John, N.B., some streets were knee-deep in water as a result of heavy rain that followed hours of snow and ice pellets — clogging catch basins.
Geoffrey Downey, a spokesman for New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization said that this time of the year, the water has gone nowhere to go and if the drains are clogged, the water rises. That resulted in one apartment building being evacuated and a number of cars being abandoned. But with temperatures set to fall, tow trucks were brought in to move stranded cars before they froze in place.
Many Canadian figure skaters remained stranded in Saint John Monday after the storm hit on the last day of the national skating championships. More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather. The Canadian championships brought between 400 and 500 people – skaters, coaches, officials, and various staff members – to the event. Many were forced to extend their stay as they looked for rescheduled flights. Montreal and Ottawa were looking at daytime highs of just minus 15 to 17 with icy wind chills as low as minus 40 where exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just minutes. In Oakville, it was so cold Monday morning, crossing guards were called off duty for much of the day. In Montreal, they even cancelled a festival dedicated to snow. The city said Sunday it was suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on Quebec’s roads.
There are about 3,000 customers were without electricity, while Nova Scotia Power said about 34 outages were affecting just over 1,100 customers.