Like it or not, global warming is a real thing and we can see its effects when we hear about or experience some of the increasingly frequent extreme weather. These include things like the bushfires and floods that recently plagued Australia. Newfoundland and Labrador recently experienced one of the worst snowstorms on record.
Exposing The Truth
Those living through this onslaught of snow decided to show the rest of the world just what they were dealing with. It was the worst snowstorm in 50 years. The snow covered homes and cars and the icy wind blew relentlessly. The scene looked like something you’d expect to see on the planet Hoth from Star Wars.
The storm hit Newfoundland on a Friday and it wasn’t long before many Canadians were trapped inside their homes, unable to leave because the snow was blocking all their entrances. Meteorologists, however, warn that this isn’t the end, there is more snow on the way.
The St. John’s authorities were prepared for such an event, however. As soon as the storm hit, Danny Breen, the city’s mayor, declared a state of emergency. This meant that all the businesses needed to close and no one was allowed on the roads except for emergency vehicles.
Beth Saunders, a St. John’s local, spoke about the situation during the storm. “We knew for about a week that a weather system was coming but we didn’t quite understand how intense it would be.”
“As the days got closer the snowfall and wind speed estimates kept increasing. As of Tuesday, they were calling for 40 to 60cm, but as of Thursday evening these amounts were increased to 90+ cm of snow and 150+ km/hr winds.”
“The weather people were very on top of this storm and kept everyone in the know. The stores were blocked on Thursday with everyone trying to stock up on food and supplies before the weather hit.”
“The city even called a State of Emergency for Friday on Thursday before anything happened because they knew how bad it would be. We’ve experienced bad storms before with much lower snowfall amounts,” she said.
According to Beth, the snowing has stopped but only temporarily. “It’s now Monday morning and we’re on day 4 of the State of Emergency. This means businesses must remain closed and vehicles have to stay off the road or there’s a risk of several thousand dollars in fines.”
She continued: “The snow has stopped but we need time to figure out where to put it all. A lot of cars are completely covered with snow which is taking hours upon hours to shovel out.” She also added: “Since we’re in a State of Emergency, businesses are forced to close today. All local schools have been canceled and no one is allowed to return to work (unless you’re an essential service like a plow operator or medical professional that has to be at the hospital). Some businesses have staff working remotely from home when possible, but otherwise, things are not operating.”
Best They Can Do
Beth admits that the locals are doing what they can to make the best of what’s happening. “People have been trying to make the best of this situation as much as possible! As you may have seen online, some people are snowboarding and snowshoeing down major downtown streets, having bonfires in their yards with neighbors, making igloos with makeshift refrigerators for their beer and so on!”
Global News reported that Mount Pearl got a full 93 cm of snow, Paradise got 91 cm, and St. John’s International Airport received the most snow it has received since 1942. It got a whopping 78 cm, grounding all planes for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, all the people in town are banding together to help each other out. From digging out each other’s cars or helping them find much-needed supplies, everyone is working together to make the situation as comfortable as possible.
On Sunday, the Armed Forces were deployed to help the residents out as well. Corporal Tiffany Mackey said that she feels glad to be helping the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her stepmother spent 50 hours at one of St. John’s hospitals during the snowstorm and had this to say: “We’re using our resources to help the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with this snow mess. The fact I can help out and give back is a really good feeling.”