More bad weather coming

Mitch MacDonald
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Clean up remains from weekend blizzard

The blizzard which paralyzed P.E.I. for most of the weekend finally eased late Sunday, but much of the clean up remains from the most powerful winter storm to pound the province in more than three years.

The intense low pressure system struck just before dawn Saturday, dumping approximately 30 cm of snow across the Island, and combined with winds gusting to over 80 km/h, shut down the province for two days.

The system approached from the southwest Friday and saw northeasterly winds in full force by Saturday morning with gusts of up to 90 km/h. Those winds persisted into Sunday and caused blizzard conditions, with Environment Canada issuing blowing snow warnings for most of the weekend.

Environment Canada meteorologist Andy Firth said conditions were similar across all three counties in the province.

"Obviously across the Island there are differences, but it (accumulation) was around the 30 cms mark," said Firth during an interview with The Guardian.

There was even brief periods of freezing drizzle thrown in although temperatures remained well below freezing.

The wind caused some areas to remain bare of snow, while others were covered in four-feet plus drifts.

With areas in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick receiving 30 to 50 cm of accumulation, P.E.I.'s experience was similar, said Firth.

"P.E.I. kind of got the medium of what everyone was getting," he said. "There was certainly a lot of blowing snow and drifting snow."

Plows had difficulty keeping snow off the roads, as winds would quickly fill highways back into impassable drifts.

RCMP advised motorists not to drive throughout the weekend, as the combination of powder and winds also created white-outs.

The poor driving conditions led to many weekend events being cancelled or postponed.

The major cancellation was the Chinese New Year celebration, scheduled for the Trade Centre in Charlottetown on Sunday with more than 700 guests expected. The Tankard provincial men's curling championship postponed draws on Saturday and Sunday in Crapaud. It will continue Monday with six teams still in play.

Despite the warnings to stay off the road, certain businesses opened including the Oak Tree liquor store in Charlottetown.

Other Islanders ventured out into the blizzard on their own, although most to just get a glimpse of the weather or shovel their driveway. Several snowmobiles were sighted Saturday cruising through a deserted downtown Charlottetown.

By Sunday evening, all that remained of the blizzard was some light drifting.

"Skies will be clearing (overnight) and we'll be waiting for the next little system," said Firth.

Blowing snow warnings were lifted in Prince and Queens counties by mid-afternoon Sunday but remained for Kings.

P.E.I. escaped without any power outages, unlike its neighboring Maritime Provinces which experienced a number of widespread disruptions.

Firth said more bad weather is coming soon as Islanders can expect increasing cloudiness throughout Monday.

Snow will then develop Monday evening with another five to 10 cm of accumulation expected.

"That will turn to rain Tuesday morning," said Firth, "And then probably back to some flurries before it's all done."

Firth said he's not predicting a "whole lot of rain," although he did expect some melting.

"We'll have to see. Hopefully the rain clears some of the snow so the melting of the rain has somewhere to go," he said.

Organizations: Environment Canada, RCMP, Trade Centre

Geographic location: Iceland, Charlottetown, Nova Scotia New Brunswick Crapaud Oak Tree Queens Maritime Provinces

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Recent comments

  • convenience store cashier
    February 11, 2013 - 08:28

    I work at a convenience store and we NEVER close (not even for christmas or any other holiday) and we were told since we were all within 10-20 min walking distance (on a good day i may add) we were expected to show up for work during this storm no matter what no excuses. Shows how much our manager/owner cares about our safety. they werent even there all weekend until sunday afternoon when the weather was a bit better.

  • don
    February 11, 2013 - 08:23

    food stores,drug stores gas etc is very important to be open but drunks are not a life saving place to be opened. but when the police are asking people to stay off the roads they are looking at safety. how many cars are stuck in snow banks due to trying to get to work? and if a person is killed due to trying to get to the store is it worth it.

  • Don Clandestine
    February 10, 2013 - 23:11

    Don, the liquor store was not the only store open during weekend storm. Superstore, Sobeys, convenience stores, gas stations, coffee shops were all open. Besides who are you to tell other people they can't have a drink when they want one? One more thing, if you have a job and get paid for it, you also make a profit. Are you doing wrong by making money?

  • don
    February 10, 2013 - 21:39

    Oak Tree liquor store in Charlottetown. opened just shows how much the lives of staff and islanders means to government = NOTHING. but profit is all that maters. but i guess it shows there is more drunks in ch'town then any where else on PEI as the other liquor stores closed.

    • Of course
      February 10, 2013 - 23:28

      Oak tree liquor store is going to be open of course because that is the busiest liquor store on the island and it is a Saturday. It doesn't show that their is more drunks in Charlottetown!. At least they closed the other ones and not opened them all....idiotic comment.

    • nitpicker
      February 11, 2013 - 06:20

      your line of thinking is truly bizarre. I don't know if you are simply a troll or a twit, but there were lots of places open as the weather cleared. But that fact would be irrelevant to someone whose sole purpose to come online seems to be to spew vile, negativity, and at times, borderline hatred. I wish your comments would be blocked.

    • LA
      February 11, 2013 - 07:20

      Don't be ridiculous. But I know you can't help it.

    • trish
      February 11, 2013 - 10:51

      I agree with you Don, thinking of the staff is not as important as making a little profit from some individuals that need a drink that bad, that is sad!. I am a drinker and wouldn't expect a liquor store to be open but guess people that are insensitive to the staffs safety or have dinking "issues" and need to get their fix would expect the store to open! The consequences and pressure that are put on a staff members to get to work in unsafe conditions for a small profit is pathetic, greedy and insensitive. Stay off the roads, let the plows do their work and be on the road on if it is emergency, you idiots!!!