Newfoundlanders will wake to a full day of shovelling this morning after Friday’s record-setting blizzard, but there may be even more nasty weather to come.
Environment Canada has issued weather warnings and statements for much of the island, except for the west coast and northern peninsula.
A snowfall warning has been issued for central Newfoundland, calling for 15 centimetres, while another 10 centimetres is expected for eastern parts of the island.
The messy conditions could be worsened by a changeover to rain overnight in the St. John’s area and wind gusting to 80 km/h.
A state of emergency is still in place in St. John’s, but an exception has been made for pharmacies in St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise and Torbay. They are allowed to open between noon and 7 p.m. Sunday following an urgent request from Eastern Health.
“If you do not require medication, please do not leave your home,” said a statement from the city of St. John’s.
“If you must leave your home for medication please take your time, drive slowly, watch for snowplows and pedestrians.”
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said while crews have had a lot of success and worked through the night, there’s still a lot to be done.
“There’s a tremendous amount of snow on the ground,” he told CBC News Network.
Breen said a series of storms has had snow plow operators working steadily since Christmas Eve and said they are getting help from Corner Brook as well as other levels of government.
“We all work together and we’ll get through it.”
The province’s English school district has proactively announced that all schools on the Avalon peninsula will be closed Monday. Several schools on the Bonavista Peninsula will also be closed.
Meanwhile, Memorial University has announced that all St. John’s campuses will remain closed while the state of emergency remains in effect.
The university’s vice president academic Noreen Golfman also encouraged all instructors to be flexible with course work.
“This includes, but is not limited to, deadlines for submission of assignments, papers, etc., as well as attendance in classes and laboratories over the next couple of days,” said a statement from the university.
Around 9:30 a.m., Newfoundland Power was reporting 3,083 customers without electricity. Last night, the utility reported they had reconnected about 75 per cent of customers impacted by the storm.
The federal government has approved the province’s request for assistance with the cleanup, including army mobilization.
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair is expected to address the media Sunday morning.
Many flights in and out of the St. John’s Airport have been cancelled, with the only afternoon flights still listed as being on time.
‘Car is buried’
Chris Baird lives on the outskirts of St. John’s, above the airport, and early Sunday morning was the first time a snow plow came by to clear his street.
His driveway still isn’t plowed because the plow company he hired couldn’t make the trek through the snow with a plow.
“The car is buried, totally,” Baird told CBC’s Weekend Mornings.
Baird has lived in the city all his life, but this type of snow is new to him.
“Never seen snow like this,” he said.
The St. John’s state of emergency was called partially due to the difficulty of traveling around the city, something local firefighters are discovering as well.
The local firefighters union posted a photo on Twitter showing some of their members answering a call on foot saying they do “whatever it takes.”
Some nurses are putting in extremely long hours as cleanup with this storm continues.
“Can’t say enough about these Janeway RNs who will be on hour 60 by morning,” said Registered Union Nurses President Debbie Forward. “Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough for you being there for your patients and their families,” she posted.
Can’t say enough about these Janeway RNs who will be on hour 60 by morning. Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough for you being there for your patients & their families. @RNU_NL @PremierofNL @Johnrockdoc @CFNUPresident @EasternHealthNL pic.twitter.com/q3OkAmegJs