Blizzard hammers Atlantic Canada causing flight cancellations, travel warnings
HALIFAX – Atlantic Canada is being buffeted by bruising winds and heavy snowfall today as a blizzard sweeps through the region, cancelling flights and shuttering everything from schools and municipal offices to businesses and hospital services.
In Nova Scotia, Environment Canada meteorologist Tracey Talbot said winds were gusting to 110 kilometres per hour in Osborne Head, just outside of Halifax, and up to 20 centimetres of snow had already fallen in some areas with the storm not expected to move out until Tuesday.
She says blizzard and winter storm warnings have been issued for much of the region, prompting the Nova Scotia government to close all of its mainland offices today and authorities in Halifax to close schools, shut down transit, ferries and other municipal services as a precaution.
Snowfall totals across the province are expected to range from 20 to 60 centimetres, however, some areas could be buried under as much as 75 centimetres.
Environment Canada has also issued a storm surge warning for Halifax Metro and Halifax County West due to the risk of high storm surge levels and large waves from the winter storm.
“High waves combined with the surge may cause damage along the coast. Coastal flooding is possible along the shoreline. People close to the shoreline should stay on the lookout for worsening conditions,” read the alert.
Peter Spurway, who lives about 35 minutes outside Halifax in West Lawrencetown, says the visibility at his property was near zero as winds whipped around his home while he tried to get to his barn to feed three ponies.
New Brunswick and P.E.I. are looking at totals ranging from 25 to 40 centimetres, with wind gusts up to 100 km/h.
The storm has resulted in multiple flight cancellations at Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John airports. Over 100 flights were cancelled at Halifax International airport due to the storm, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.com.
Schools at Halifax Regional School Board, Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, South Shore Regional School Board, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and more were closed for the day and Halifax Transit cancelled bus and ferry services.
– With files from Global News reporter Nicole Bogart
© 2017 The Canadian Press