The continued forecast of hurricane force winds for the west coast of this province has forced Marine Atlantic to cancel all its sailings for Jan. 5 and 6.
As both sides of the Gulf continue to reel from the weather bomb that hit yesterday, Marine Atlantic is among the many businesses that have been impacted by the snow and high winds that are expected to persist into Monday.
“As of now, we are cancelled today and tomorrow,’’ Darrell Mercer, spokesman for Marine Atlantic, said Friday morning.
“Our captains are committing that if there is a break in the weather they will be ready to sail, not at our normally scheduled times, but as soon as we can get out,’’ he added.
Mercer said customers will be advised of sailing departures.
As of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, There were 52 commercial vehicles waiting to cross at North Sydney and 146 in Port aux Basques. Mercer said most of the Port aux Basques trucks are empty rigs headed back to North Sydney following the Christmas season.
Passenger traffic that has been impacted includes 135 travellers from North Sydney to Port aux Basques and 146 travelling from Port aux Basques to North Sydney.
Once we get back in operation, we can clean that up fairly quickly,’’ Mercer said.
At St. John’s International Airport (YYT), the majority of morning arrivals were cancelled with the exception of one flight from Gander that is showing as delayed.
The afternoon arrivals at this time are a mixed bag as there are some flights showing as delayed or cancelled throughout the remainder of the day.
In addition, the majority of departures from YYT were also cancelled or delayed throughout the morning. The afternoon schedule appears to get back on track for the most part, although several delays are listed and only one flight has been cancelled.
All airports throughout the province were impacted by the Nor’easter that swept across the province.
Anyone who is travelling from any airport throughout the province today should check ahead to ensure their flight is still on tap or delayed.
The Telegram’s sister paper The Gulf News is reporting a number of minor incidents in the Port aux Basques area that included wind gusts of a reported 180 km/h.
Those winds blew a window out of one building and the siding has been ripped off the 100 Foot Lodge. It was also reported winds were recorded at just over 200 km/h in the Codroy Valley.
The Weather Network is reporting additional severe weather for the Port aux Basques area, including storm surge warnings and a snow squall watch.
This is a potentially dangerous situation. Coastal flooding is likely near the shoreline and nearby low-lying areas. High waves combined with the surge may cause damage along the coast, especially at noon when the ocean reaches high tide.
Travel on the west coast may be hazardous due to sudden changes in the weather. Snow squalls are expected to develop along the west coast of Newfoundland this evening and persist through Saturday.
Under the snow squall bands, visibilities will be significantly reduced due to the heavy snow combined with blowing snow, and snow will quickly accumulate.
On the Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro reported that high winds caused problems for a main transmission line that services the region and made it difficult to access the area to repair the line. Wind caused transmission lines to trip and there was minor equipment damage to a single bolt. Restoration was down to small feeder lines before noon with final customers expected to be restored in short order.
Customers in the Hawkes Bay and St. Anthony areas had power restored by 5 a.m. as a diesel generator was employed. Other customers in the region were without electricity for some time but according to the NL Power outages site, power has been restored.
The only outages that remain showing are in or near Corner Brook, Port aux Basques and St. John’s.
On the province’s west coast highways, wet, slippery and slushy sections are causing poor driving conditions. The Department of Transportation and Works is warning drivers that blowing and drifting snow is impacting driving along with the wet, slushy conditions.
In Labrador, motorists are asked to stay off the roads as conditions have forced plows off the highways and roads.