January 27, 2015 2:19 am
Updated: January 27, 2015 7:07 pm

Blast of winter weather brings snow, high winds to Maritimes

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HALIFAX – A large winter storm shuttered parts of the Maritimes Tuesday as flights were cancelled, while businesses, schools and government offices closed their doors.

Environment Canada warned of blizzard conditions for Prince Edward Island and southeastern New Brunswick.

READ MORE: Winter storm turns Halifax Stanfield airport into ghost town

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The highest wind gust was recorded at 125 kilometres an hour by Environment Canada in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Some cities took their buses off the road.

Highway 104, the four-lane link between Truro in Nova Scotia and the New Brunswick border, was closed to traffic for a few hours on Tuesday afternoon.

Municipal officials and police throughout the region urged people to stay off the roads because of near-zero visibility caused by wind gusts.

New Brunswick deals with snow

Moncton got the most snow, with 30 centimetres as of late Tuesday afternoon as the snowfall tapered off.

The private company that operates the Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton in New Brunswick advised drivers to stay off the freeway with visibility limited to 30 or 40 metres in places.

“Oh the wind is blowing you from side to side. It’s hard walking,” said Moncton resident Peter Savoie during earlier whiteout conditions in the city’s downtown.

READ MORE: Keep calm and bundle up: Is it time to stop being surprised by winter weather?

Businesses, schools even medical clinics shut down across the region.

“I would say about three quarters of the businesses are closed there and the parking lot is only about a quarter full,” said Don Gallant, a maintenance worker in a downtown office building.

By early afternoon when the winds and snow picked up, much of the city felt like a ghost town. Shops and sidewalks were abandoned as people went home to ride out the worst of the weather.

Derrick Smith spent time trying to dig his car out of a snowdrift at his workplace, where he was stranded.

“I got a buddy with a couple of Ski-Doos probably coming over later, so I’ll be OK,” he said.

In Saint John, some people wondered why they bothered to venture outside.

“I should have stayed home,” said local resident Bill Dempster.

Police patrols in the city were scaled back to the bare minimum as officers responded only to emergency calls.

Snow-clearing crews across the province have already resigned themselves to settle in for what’s sure to be a long night.

“I don’t know how long I will be out here,” said snowplow operator Stephane Doucet. “Everything is closing down. I am just trying to keep up with what’s open right now.”

See more from the day’s weather events in our live blog recap:

With files from Shelley Steeves, Global News

To get real-time weather for your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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