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Taken by Storm - White Juan

Laurissa Anyas-Weiss, content producer

June 4, 2009 — With the experience of Hurricane Juan still fresh in people's minds, Nova Scotians endured yet another exceptional storm on February 18 and 19, 2004 - a storm that many dubbed 'White Juan'.

On February 18, a low pressure system developed off the US Eastern Seaboard and intensified rapidly as it tracked northeastward. By the morning of February 19, with the storm located south of the Maritimes, heavy snow and strong winds had spread to all areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southeast New Brunswick.

A province-wide State of Emergency was declared in Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality imposed traffic curfews as the massive snowfall paralyzed the region.

Businesses and schools were forced to close as many roads would not be cleared for days. Flooding was also reported in parts of Prince Edward Island and southeast New Brunswick as very strong northerly winds produced a significant storm surge.

By February 20, the storm had left behind a large swath of snowfall accumulations in the range of 50 to 70cm, with a few pockets of 80cm or more. Canadian Forces Base Shearwater recorded a whopping 95cm of snow during this event.

Winds during the height of the storm were generally in the 60 to 80km/h range with gusts near 120km/h in exposed areas. The wind and heavy snow combined to produce near zero visibilities and caused huge snow drifts. 'White Juan' was a storm that will not soon be forgotten.

Source: Environment Canada

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