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Historic Snowstorm Decimates Newfoundland

The Canadian Province of Nova Scotia faced its most ferocious snowstorm in decades last weekend. Considered to be the equivalent of hurricane-force winds with blizzard conditions, it created a state of emergency for this province. It’s estimated that several centimetres of snow dropped per hour between Friday and Sunday last week, resulting in upwards of 90 centimetres of snow in some locations. However, the average Nova Scotian city experience seventy centimetres of snow with winds at 140kmh.

The state of emergency became immediate once the storm began hitting Saint Johns, Newfoundland. It remained in effect for five days since December 17th. All businesses have been forced to shut down, vehicles aren’t permitted to operate unless its government or emergency-based. Schools for the catholic and public boards were both cancelled indefinitely. It’s estimated that more than 60% of the province is without power and doesn’t have the necessities required for living. Elderly requiring medical assistance is the biggest concern for emergency personnel. It’s estimated that the storm became so bad that communications province-wide were terminated.

The Avalanche

The Premier of Nova Scotia demanded that the Canadian government aid with medical necessities, snow removal and food supply. Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canadian soldiers would be arriving by January 20th mid-day to support the city. This comes after the blizzard-hurricane created a mid-storm avalanche on the signal hill in Saint Johns. It flew down the slope into neighbouring homes and caused substantial damage, with one roof collapsing in on itself. The Saint Johns Regional Fire Department assisted these unnamed individuals and air-lifted them to safety once conditions were permissible.

The Regional fire department made the confirmation that there’d been a significant avalanche in Saint Johns. Weather forecasters noted that the extreme winds of 180km/h created conditions that rival largescale mountains on Signal Hill. Subsequently, it forced a substantial block of snow to break free and fall towards downtown. Emergency officials declared that this event could’ve been considerably worse for locals.

Previous State of Emergencies

The Province of Newfoundland hasn’t had a singular city enter the state of emergency protocol since 1984. The last time this occurred was during an ice storm, where the town became an oversized hockey rink for nearly several days. It was noted that multiple conditions in the forecast are considered before a state of emergency is implemented. The two most prominent factors being transportation and impending forecasts. It should be noted that after this storm fell onto Newfoundland, it made its way to Ontario, where an additional 15cm fell.