Winter weather escalates across Canada as army sent to help Newfoundland
TORONTO -- Winter weather has escalated across Canada as the federal government agreed to send help to Newfoundland following record-breaking snowfall.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball requested government help Saturday, including mobilizing the Canadian Armed Forces, to provide relief to areas of the province hit by the severe winter weather.
St. John’s experienced a record-breaking one-day snowfall of 76.2 centimetres, snapping a previous record of 68.4 centimetres from 1999.
Strong winds combined with the huge dumping of snow created drifts high enough to bury cars, while white-out conditions meant roads were congested and treacherous.
Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O'Regan confirmed the government was already working to deploy resources.
Here’s a look at how the rest of the country handled a weekend of dramatic winter weather.
Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, snowfall warnings were in place for large parts of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia before easing to flurries Sunday night.
Environment Canada has snowfall warnings in place for Montreal and surrounding areas, with 15 to 20 centimetres expected between Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Skies are expected to clear in the morning with snow starting to fall as the clouds roll in. In addition, winds may reach between 20 km/h and 40 km/h putting the temperature near -25 C with the wind chill.
The snow should clear Sunday night with a cold and sunny Monday to start the week.
In Canada’s most populous region, the first major snowfall in southern Ontario has brought traffic to a crawl in Toronto and elsewhere with up to 20 centimetres of snow and howling winds causing white-out conditions.
Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, City of Toronto spokesperson Eric Holmes said that there are 1,500 workers prepared to respond to the city’s first snowstorm of the year.
A snowfall warning is in effect for the city and most of southern Ontario.
Large parts of Northeastern Ontario are also under snowfall warnings, with winter storm warnings in place for Sault Ste. Marie and Killarney.
A number of communities across southern Manitoba are under a winter storm warning from Environment Canada, including Steinbach, Emerson and Pilot Mount, while Winnipeg is under a snowfall warning.
A storm system is expected to bring 10 centimetres to 20 centimetres of snow to the city and other parts of southern Manitoba.
In Saskatchewan, extreme cold warnings are in place for most of the south of the province, Fond-du-Lac, Stony Rapids and Black Lake.
The Alberta Motor Association said it has received more than 55,000 calls for roadside assistance since January 12, more than six times the usual call volume.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old in Edmonton is recovering from frostbite after walking around outside without gloves for 45 minutes in -25 C weather.
A winter storm warning is in effect for Fraser Valley in B.C. after it received another dumping of snow overnight. Skiers on the slopes in Whistler could see as much as 40 centimetres of snow.
Vancouver Island has heavy rain warnings in place with the possibility of localized flooding.Wind warnings are in effect for all of B.C.'s coast.
A bitterly cold arctic ridge of high pressure remains entrenched over the Yukon, according to Environment Canada.
Extreme cold warnings are in place for much of the territory.
Blizzard warnings are also in place for parts of Nunavut.
Winds gusting into the 60 to 80 km/h range have developed over central Kivalliq and will spread south eastwards into the Arviat region Saturday evening, Environment Canada said.
These conditions will likely persist into Sunday with improvement occurring Sunday night.