P.E.I.’s winter of discontent continues

Dave Stewart
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Keir White can only look out the window and sigh.

“This is like the winters that my grandfather used to tell me about,’’ the golf pro at Belfast Highland Greens said Tuesday.

Prince Edward Island is digging out from yet another pounding in what has become a record winter.

P.E.I. Winter Stats

Linda Libby, meterologist with Environment Canada, said Charlottetown has already received more than 120 centimetres of snow beyond the average it normally gets.

As of mid morning on Tuesday, snowfall at the Charlottetown Airport was measured at 418.4 cms for the entire winter. The normal snowfall is 290.6 cms.

“This has been a particularly trying year for Maritimers, especially for Islanders,’’ Libby said.

Plows were called off secondary roads across the province on Tuesday as blowing snow and ice pellets continued to pelt the Island. Queens District RCMP advised motorists to stay off the roads and only travel in the event of an emergency.

Strong winds caused heavy drifting and whiteout conditions. The Winsloe Road and Horne Cross roads were both impassable due to drifts and Route 224 had drifted over.

Plows remained on Charlottetown’s roads, despite the conditions.

Coun. Terry Bernard, chairman of public works, said they had all roads open and were concentrating on keeping things that way. He said crews managed to get all streets and sidewalks done over the weekend only to have more bad weather move in.

The City of Charlottetown issued an advisory late on Tuesday.

“The public is asked to be especially mindful of sidewalk conditions at this time, especially for children who walk to school. Parents are asked to ensure the route children normally take to school allows for their safety before they venture out,’’ the city release stated.

The weather conditions brought down scores of power lines over the past couple of days in West Prince. The number of Maritime Electric customers without power hovered around 4,500 for much of the day on Tuesday.

By 5 p.m., Kim Griffin, spokeswoman for the utility, said they were continuing to work but outage numbers remained the same.

“Please inform Islanders that not everyone will have power restored (Tuesday) night due to weather and accessibility issues,’’ Griffin said.

Three crews working in the Kensington area were pulled off the roads due to safety concerns in the afternoon.

Disaster volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross provided food deliver and other support at a couple of shelters set up in West Prince.

More than a dozen people spent the night Monday at the John J. Sark Memorial School symnasium on Lennox Island.

The O’Leary fire hall was also open to the public for water and heat even though they had no power.

The Office of Public Safety tweeted Tuesday that the bridge to Lennox Island was closed due to the poor road conditions.

It was also the fifth consecutive day schools closed across the province. Late Tuesday, the English Language School Board announced it was cancelling a performance development day for teachers scheduled for this Friday. High schools will be advising parents on parent-teacher interviews.

Unlike last week’s blizzard, the latest snowstorm did not disrupt operations at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. A spokeswoman with the Department of Health said there may be the odd patient who called to cancel but there were no closures, delays or cancellation of services by the hospital.

Maritime Bus announced midday on Tuesday that its buses might be running late, that service might be interrupted en route or that trips would be cancelled.

More than 17 cms had fallen on Charlottetown by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

As for March’s snowfall totals, more than 93 cms fell at the airport. That’s more than double what the city usually gets in March.

Summerside was also more than double, receiving more than 106 cms of the white stuff in March.

Another stat that stands out. Charlottetown averages 0.86 days per winter with the number of snow events totalling at least 25 cms. This winter, the Island capital has had four storms that dumped at least 25 cm.

“That’s four significant snowfall events,’’ Libby said, “which is four times our average.’’

And while there aren’t any significant snow events in the forecast, Libby said there is also “no definitive’’ signs yet that spring is close, noting that temperatures will plummet again next week.

“We’re still not entirely clear of snowfall potential,’’ she said.

White said Belfast Highland Greens, which is run by the community, was open on April 12 last year. He isn’t nearly as optimistic this year.

“Realistically, in Belfast, we’re three to four weeks away (from possibly opening),’’ White said. “There is still some concern with ice on the greens.’’

White expects the golf season is going to be delayed for just about everyone.



Organizations: Environment Canada, Charlottetown Airport, Maritime Electric Canadian Red Cross John J. Sark Memorial School Office of Public Safety English Language School Board Queen Elizabeth Hospital Department of Health

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, West Prince Winsloe Road Kensington Belfast

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Recent comments

  • It's Spring
    April 02, 2014 - 06:34

    This news report says: "As of mid morning on Tuesday, snowfall at the Charlottetown Airport was measured at 418.4 cms for the entire winter". Not really trying to nitpick but it's been spring since 20th of March. The snowfall count for the entire winter should have stopped on 19th of March. That being said....it's been one really nasty spring so far this year !! Hoping for some relief soon. Stay safe everyone.