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Cleaning up after the storm in Newfoundland

Heavy snow in Grand Falls-Windsor. Click the image for a look at the blizzard conditions and powerful winds across Newfoundland.
Heavy snow in Grand Falls-Windsor. Click the image for a look at the blizzard conditions and powerful winds across Newfoundland.

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

February 17, 2011 — A fierce winter storm in Newfoundland has residents digging out of waist deep snow.

Peak wind gusts in Newfoundland on Wednesday
Peak wind gusts in Newfoundland on Wednesday

A ferocious winter storm brought normal daily activities to a halt in Newfoundland on Wednesday.

A low pressure system that charged through the Maritimes earlier this week made its way into Newfoundland bringing heavy snow and strong winds with it.

On Wednesday morning a peak gust of 143 km/h was recorded in Twillingate -- the strongest wind gust in the world at that time. Many schools were closed across the province as blizzard-like conditions swept over the region.

RCMP in Grand Falls-Windsor urged residents to stay home due to poor visibility. Blowing snow left at least 10 motorists stranded and forced officials to close 30 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway between Badger and Grand Falls-Windsor. Some snow plows were even pulled off of the roads because of the treacherous conditions. The stormy weather affected Marine Atlantic's ferry service across the Cabot Strait as well.

Some places have seen over 30 cm of snow since Tuesday morning. Schools were open in and around St. John's on Tuesday, but two school buses in the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's area slid off the road. Several other accidents were reported throughout the Avalon Peninsula.

Tuesday's snowfall totals across NL
Tuesday's snowfall totals across NL

Strong winds associated with this system were also affecting parts of the Maritimes on Wednesday. Schools in Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton were closed Wednesday, and officials briefly shut down the Canso Causeway connecting Cape Breton with mainland Nova Scotia due to poor visibility.

This is Newfoundland's second storm in less than a week. Over the weekend, St. John's was buried in 15 cm of snow from another system. Eight to 10-foot snow drifts were the cause of an eight-vehicle pile-up on the Burin Peninsula Sunday. Police say no injuries were reported.

To stay up-to-date on the weather conditions, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV, where the National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

With files from Andrea Stockton, Lyndsay Morrison and the Canadian Press

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