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Newfoundland residents warned to be prepared for major storm system

Peter and Karen Yetman’s house in Paradise had some siding peel off as a result of the high winds on Wednesday. Even stronger winds are expected to buffet the island tonight and into Thursday.
Peter and Karen Yetman’s house in Paradise had some siding peel off as a result of the high winds on Wednesday. Even stronger winds are expected to buffet the island tonight and into Thursday. - Contributed

An extreme weather system will bring snow, rain and hurricane-strength winds tonight into Thursday

It was an unwelcome sight for Peter Yetman, but given the weather conditions, not a surprising one.

When he and his wife Karen looked outside earlier today, they saw several pieces of siding off the front of their Paradise home.

“I guess one piece was loose and then, like dominos, the rest followed,” Yetman told The Telegram. “Guess it could’ve been a lot worse ...

“Damn wind.”

And it’s about to get worse.

An extreme weather system — with snow, rain and hurricane-strength winds — is hitting Newfoundland and Labrador today, heading into Thursday.

And depending where you live, it’ll impact residents in various ways.

Wind, storm and storm surge warnings are in effect across most of the province. According to SaltWire Network’s resident meteorologist Cindy Day, winds with gusts up to 150 km/hr on the west coast and about 130 km/hr in the east.

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Snow amounts tonight and Thursday could reach up to 10 centimetres in squalls along the west-facing coastline.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for Bay St. George, Cartwright to Black tickle, Channel-Port aux Basques and vicinity, Corner Brook and vicinity, Gros Morne, Norman Bay to Lodge Bay, Northern Peninsula East, Parson’s Pond-Hawke’s Bay, Port Saunders and the Straits, as well as Red Bay to L’Anse-au-Clair.

Blowing snow advisories are in place for Eagle River, Postville-Makkovik, Rigolet and vicinity and Upper Lake Melville.

For the Avalon Peninsula, it’s the wind that will be the major event.

This system is forecast to bring higher-than-normal water levels in coastal areas due to a combination of storm surge, high waves, and pounding surf. High storm surges increase risk of flooding in coastal regions, and residents are asked to exercise caution around these areas

The storm is anticipated to be so strong, it’s prompted government to issue a public advisory.

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment reminds residents to take measures to ensure personal safety and to follow the latest weather forecast for alert bulletins.

On its website, the department recommends residents get an emergency kit with basic supplies in the event of a power outage.

“Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours,” it states.

Besides extra food and bottled water, it says to get a battery-operated or wind-up flashlight, keeping it somewhere you could easily find in the dark.

The department also urges residents to make an emergency plan for family members to plan how to meet or contact one another.

The RNC is also encouraging the public to be prepared in the event of a power outage by having necessary supplies to keep safe, including extra bottled water and food, flashlight, a radio, medications, pet food if required, as well as portable chargers for cell phones which could be primary sources of communication.

RNC spokesman Const. Geoff Higdon said the public can help keep the roads safe by securing items on their property that could be blown into roadways and pose concerns for traffic.

In the event of a power outage, generators should never be run inside of a home or garage, he said.

“Emergency services can be in demand during and after a major weather event, especially if there is significant property damage and/or power loss,” Higdon said. “We’d encourage the public to call 911 only in an emergency.”

Yetman also suggests to secure fences and check for loose siding.

“Tie down and nail down what you can,” he said. “In our 15 years living here, we’ve never had any property damage until now. But you can never be too careful with wind like this.”

Things are expected to calm down Thursday evening, according to Day, but there’s more bad weather expected by the weekend.

She said there will be a brief break before another storm hits over the weekend. Beginning Friday night and throughout Saturday, it could bring up to 25 centimetres of snow to the Corner Brook region and between three and five centimetres in the St. John’s area. It’ll change to rain before it clears Sunday.

rosie.mullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyRosie


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