Schools, government offices closed as blizzard hits P.E.I.

Jocelyne Lloyd
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Heavy snow and strong winds make getting around Charlottetown a chore Wednesday. As the entire province was walloped by a major storm

Tazul Riad walks home from work.

Schools and government offices were closed and flights cancelled Wednesday as a powerful spring blizzard began its push through the region.

Significant snow is forecast for all four Atlantic provinces, but Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are expected to see the biggest accumulation with up to 40 to 50 centimetres predicted for some parts.


School has been cancelled across Prince Edward Island today. UPEI, Holland College and all provincial government civil service offices are also closed for the day.

All Maritime Bus routes are also cancelled today and all flights at Charlottetown Airport have been cancelled or postponed. The Confederation Bridge is expecting restrictions with winds projected to gust to 110 km/h.

Environment Canada's Weather Office says the snow that began to fall around noon will quickly become heavy at times before tapering to flurries overnight tonight.

The snow will change to rain over Kings County this evening then change back to snow overnight. Northeast winds will steadily increase during the day and will gust up to 110 km/h by this evening.

These very strong winds combined with heavy snow will cause widespread whiteout conditions in blowing snow. In general 30 to 50 centimetres of snow is expected across the Island.

However, the Weather Office warns, "given the extensive blowing and drifting snow there could be significant variability in snow amounts received within any forecast region.

"Additionally higher than normal water levels are expected overnight tonight mainly on the north shore. This may combine with increasing wave activity to give local flooding along parts of the shore."

RCMP in Prince Edward Island have warned motorists to stay off the roads.

"Motorist are asked to remain off the highways unless absolutely necessary, at which time you are urged to drive with extreme caution given extraordinary weather conditions," says a statement issued from RCMP just before 2:30 p.m.

The City of Summerside issued a similar warning.

"Summerside Police Services would like to remind the motoring public to remain off city streets today unless absolutely necessary, as the storm has moved into this area causing drifting and blowing snow," the statement says. "As per all warnings from Environment Canada, we are expecting white-out conditions later this afternoon making driving conditions difficult and a public safety issue."

Organizations: Holland College, Charlottetown Airport

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

    March 26, 2014 - 19:35

    Yes,there are some great teachers out there--young and older. There are also some sub teachers in the schools who are busy checking their phones for a job for the next day,when they should be teaching our children!!! There are also some very experienced teachers in the system who will be sadly missed when they are gone,and there are still a few retired teachers who are teaching some days because subs can not be found. That is a fact.

  • Resident
    March 26, 2014 - 16:33

    Interesting. Government weather website shows air gusts for every town in PEI except Charlottetown. Should we be worried? :)

  • Parent
    March 26, 2014 - 11:25

    With the unusual amount of snow days this year, the dept of education should add a couple of days to the school calender in June to make up for it. We have the least amount of instructional days in Canada. Or ban the many field trips and fun days during the "June slide". Show some leadership and make student achievement a priority.

  • parent
    March 26, 2014 - 11:15

    Dear Cromwell I can guarantee it is not just teachers that are looking forward to a day off. Majority of teachers have 6 years plus of university education and they certainly are not in teaching for the money. For the amount of education they have they don't earn enough! I respect teachers and all the hard work they do for students.

    • Another parent
      March 26, 2014 - 16:10

      I too respect hard working, dedicated teachers who go above and beyond to ensure our students get a good education. I just wish there was a way to force out the poor ones, (those who put little effort into teaching, who waste class time, barely scratch the surface of the curriculum etc). There are some fantastic young teachers putting in time supply teaching, who should have a chance at full time work. But I'm a bit off topic...

  • cromwell
    March 26, 2014 - 09:17

    So all government facilities closed all day, even though snow due to start this afternoon. I watched 'The WeatherNetwork' last night at 11 pm, - one commentator reported from from downtown Charlottetown that he had had supper with 2 young teachers, and both were really looking forward to 2 'Snow Days' on Wednesday and Thursday. Didn't realise that they could forecast time off from class this far ahead!

    • Hannah
      March 27, 2014 - 11:22

      Looks like those 2 teachers were right. Maybe they are smarter than you give them credit.

  • townie22
    March 26, 2014 - 08:22

    with the changes to EI, maybe it's not for his dog :)

  • hungry
    March 26, 2014 - 06:41

    Is he fattening up his dog in case he runs out of food?.. what's the big deal here? I buy big bags of pet food too,, even during regular weather!!