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'Historic' snowfall buries Canada's Atlantic coast

By AFP

February 6, 2024 09:43 AM


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Residents along Canada's Atlantic coast on Monday were digging out from a "historic" snowfall that paralyzed parts of the province of Nova Scotia over the weekend, triggering a state of emergency.

More than a meter (three feet) of snow combined with powerful gusts of wind, halting transportation networks and forcing many businesses, government offices and schools to shutter.

"It is very likely that areas around southeastern Cape Breton exceeded 100 centimeters" (39 inches) of precipitation, Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud told AFP, describing the storm as "historic" in scale.

"If we look at the entire event, from Friday until this morning, these are record quantities," he said.

https://twitter.com/weathernetwork/status/1754558046066430353

Sunday afternoon, authorities on the province's Cape Breton island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence declared a state of emergency, urging citizens to only travel out of "absolute necessity."

"With this amount of snow and this type of snow -- it's heavy and sticky -- it's challenging, so we'll take time" to deal with it, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston told a news conference on Monday.

He said he asked Ottawa to send in the military and other resources to help.

https://twitter.com/Matty_1097/status/1754383602266075419

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan said he approved emergency aid and the deployment of Parks Canada heavy snow removal equipment and Coast Guard helicopters to move supplies.

"Nova Scotians -- and in particular, Cape Bretoners -- find themselves amidst an unprecedented snowstorm," he posted on X, formerly Twitter.

On social media, residents shared images of the storm's aftermath, some showing snow accumulations as high as the top of doors or the roofs of houses.

Halifax International Airport saw flights delayed or canceled and public transportation in the regional capital of Halifax shut down temporarily.

https://twitter.com/KyleMooreCTV/status/1754218851686838403

In January 2020, the Canadian army -- considered help of last resort -- deployed more than 150 soldiers to the neighboring province of Newfoundland after a major blizzard paralyzed the capital St. John's.

More than 70 centimeters of snow fell in 24 hours, trapping hundreds of residents in their homes.


AFP


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