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."