Winter storm blasts Prince Edward Island

Medical appointments, schools and travel plans cancelled as high winds and blowing snow hit region

Jocelyne Lloyd jlloyd@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on January 13, 2016
Nathan Cheverie, left, and Ricky Blanchard clear the snow from their car during a coffee run just after hearing news that their work was cancelled for the day due to the weather.
Heather Taweel/The Guardian

A winter storm blowing through Prince Edward Island has caused school to close and cancelled travel and medical plans for others.

The province announced plans to pull plows off the road in Kings County  just before 7 a.m. Summerside police report plows are not on the streets there, either.

SCHOOLS AND GOVERNMENT

The English and French language school boards are on system wide shutdowns, and Holland College and UPEI are also closed for the day.

Flights are cancelled coming into and out of the Charlottetown airport.

Provincial government offices have closed for the day.

The Charlottetown offices of Veterans Affairs Canada have also closed.

HEALTH P.E.I.

The weather is also impacting medical appointments.

The following health services are cancelled today: public health nursing appointments in West Prince, Summerside and Souris; speech language pathology service (province-wide); audiology service (province-wide); public health and family nutrition appointments in Alberton, O’Leary, Summerside and Souris.

Prince County Hospital in Summerside is cancelling all elective surgeries and ambulatory care appointments today.

As well, patient appointments for primary care services at Health P.E.I.-run health centres in West Prince (Alberton, O’Leary and Tyne Valley), East Prince (Harbourside and Kensington) and the nurse practitioner clinic in Morell are cancelled today.

Primary care services at health centres in Montague and Souris are delayed until 10 a.m. A further update will be provided this morning.

All patient appointments for primary care services at Four Neighbourhoods Health Centre are cancelled today.

Appointments at Gulf Shore and Central Queens health centres are also cancelled for the morning.

All cancelled patient appointments will be rescheduled.

Islanders with appointments at any P.E.I. hospital, clinics and other health-care service are advised to call ahead to reconfirm their appointment or to let staff know if they are unable to make the appointment.

In the event of an emergency, Islanders should call 911.

Hospital emergency departments are anticipating longer wait times for patients with non-emergency care needs.

Islanders requiring non-emergency care needs can call 811 for advice and consider visiting a walk-in clinic or making an appointment with their family physician when weather and road conditions improve.

CONFEDERATION BRIDGE

The Confederation Bridge has issued an advisory that high winds may lead to restrictions.

The bridge's site-specific forecast calls for winds in the 70-85 km/h range, gusting to 100 km/h. Those winds are expected to remain high until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Canada Post  is advising residents of Charlottetown and Summerside that due to the severe weather we are experiencing it is not safe to send their  carriers out to deliver mail. Weather permitting delivery will resume  tomorrow.

 

To ensure carriers are not impeded once delivery does resume, Canada Post requests that home owners and business owners clear the snow and ice from their sidewalks, walkways and stairs so their employees can deliver mail safely.

 

 

FORECAST

Environment Canada is calling for 15 to 20 centimetres of snow, with the highest amounts expected over eastern areas of the island. Easterly winds gusting to 90 km/h combined with the heavy snow will result in blowing snow giving near zero visibility and whiteout conditions.

Winds will shift to the southwest this afternoon and gust near 70 km/h.

"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," states Environment Canada. "Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions."

There is also a storm surge warning for the Island.

An intensifying low-pressure system will track across Nova Scotia this morning and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence this afternoon. This system will develop a storm surge which will combine with the high tide late this afternoon and evening to give elevated water levels to the western and northern coastlines of the Island. Additionally, rough and pounding surf is expected as a result of the strong winds associated with the system.

High waves combined with the surge may cause damage along the coast. Coastal flooding is possible along the shoreline.