'First real big one': Atlantic Canada hammered by winter storm
Published Saturday, January 30, 2016 9:41AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 30, 2016 10:15PM EST
As much of Atlantic Canada cleans up after Friday's winter storm, parts of Newfoundland remain under wind and blizzard warnings.
Temperatures in St. John's inched above zero on Saturday morning, but Environment Canada issued a wind warning for the region.
According to the warning, winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour are expected to hit the city with enough strength to damage buildings and toss items in the air.
"We're a bit of a sloppy mess here in St. John's this morning," NTV meteorologist Eddie Sheerr told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
"We saw about 10 centimetres of snow here yesterday, followed by some heavy freezing rain and just some rain overnight. And now temperatures are actually quite mild."
Sweeping blackouts cut power to 43,200 Nova Scotia Power customers by mid-day Saturday. That number fell to approximately 11,500 by late Saturday evening, according to the service provider’s website.
Still, some customers may remain without electricity until Sunday as crews work around the province, a spokesperson said.
“We’re throwing all our resources at this,” spokesperson Bev Ware told CTV Atlantic.
Environment Canada issued blizzard warnings for multiple areas on Saturday, including Gander, N.L., and Grand Falls, N.L.
"Blizzard conditions with gusty winds and visibility frequently near zero in snow and blowing snow are expected or occurring," an agency warning said. "Travel is expected to be extremely hazardous."
Sheerr said some regions already accumulated upwards of 30 to 35 centimetres of snow overnight on Friday, and that the precipitation is expected to continue into Saturday afternoon and evening.
"I'm forecasting amounts closing in on 50 centimetres in some of those spots by the time the day comes to an end and the storm comes to an end," he said.
After a comparatively dry winter, Sheerr described the storm as the "first real big one" in many parts of the island.
In the rest of Atlantic Canada, the meteorologist said the worst of the storm appears to be over.
Friday night saw dozens of car accidents but only minor injuries. Several thousand homes and businesses lost electricty, and crews were working Saturday to restore power.
"(Saturday is) going to be a good clean-up day," Sheerr said.
With files from CTV Atlantic