POLITICS

Newfoundland blizzard roars through as early spring warms other regions

03/07/2012 03:44 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - As other parts of the country basked in spring-like warmth, eastern Newfoundlanders were digging out Wednesday from a fierce winter blast.

A blizzard dumped about 20 centimetres of snow in the St. John's region as winds of 80 kilometres or more caused dangerous whiteouts.

There were isolated power failures as several schools and businesses in the area stayed closed. The storm shut down government offices and took public buses off the road for part of the day.

"There's way too much snow. I'm sick of it," said Chad Levesque, 27, as he dug out his car on Gower Street in downtown St. John's.

Howling winds pushed high drifts of the white stuff onto some vehicles.

It didn't help knowing that other parts of Canada, especially southern and eastern Ontario, were getting unusually mild temperatures that felt like spring, Levesque said.

"While I love it here, days like today make me rethink that a little bit."

Others were happy to have new snow on the ground and trails after weeks without it.

"I don't mind at all," said Erica Pritchett as she helped dig out her car from a downtown parking spot.

"I like to cross-country ski and stuff. So we like some fresh snow and to get out and do the things you can do with nice, fresh snowfalls."

Local cab driver Paul Sweeney has seen it all, weather-wise.

"I just enjoy snow. I like working in it," he said. "You shouldn't be afraid to come to Newfoundland any time of the year. It's the greatest place on Earth — even in a blizzard."

Environment Canada meteorologist Paul Greeley said the Burin and Bonavista peninsulas were also hit with up to 20 centimetres of snow.

St. John's residents who like to ski and snowshoe better get out and enjoy it. Temperatures on the plus side are forecast for the next two days along with rain.