Islanders dig out after storm slams Cape Breton
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 6:52PM AST
The weekend storm lingered longest in Cape Breton, where winds howled and snow fell until late Sunday night.
The storm may have passed, but Monday was a storm day for many students in the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board, where classes were cancelled due to transportation concerns.
The board, which operates nearly 100 school buses, decided roads and sidewalks weren’t in good enough shape for classes to go ahead.
Many vehicles remained off the roads during the two-day storm and Marine Atlantic was also cautious with its ferry routes, cancelling ten sailings over the weekend. Service resumed Monday morning.
The weather also made it tough to fight fires. A New Waterford pizza shop was destroyed Sunday afternoon and an adjacent apartment building was evacuated.
“I think the winds were 50 or 60 kilometres an hour, or better than that,” says Chief Lennie Barrington of the New Waterford Fire Department. “With that and snow and trying to climb over snow and wrestling with hoses and that.”
Just before dawn Monday, crews in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality completed a non-stop, 36-hour snow clearing marathon. It was a tough test of equipment and operators, but when commuters hit the road, most routes were either clear or passable.
“It was a very intense storm,” says public works director Allen Clarke. “It was probably the worst one we had in a couple of years. Snow clearing went phenomenally well. Our roads are clear and passable, the only issue we have is sidewalks.”
Crews were slowly carving their way through some of the region’s 108 kilometres of sidewalks Monday, but it will be many days before most are clear.
The next challenge is what to do with all the snow. Any additional accumulation will trigger plans to truck away roadside snow to make room when, or if, another nor’easter hits.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald