A powerful winter storm has blanketed Canada’s Nova Scotia province under a significant amount of snow, prompting a local municipality to declare a state of local emergency. This has led to flight cancellations, road blockades, and the closure of educational institutions, with the adverse weather expected to continue.
On Sunday, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) declared a State of Local Emergency to address the severe weather conditions.
In a statement on Sunday, CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall mentioned that the State of Local Emergency is initially set for seven days, but there is hope for an earlier lift as cleanup efforts progress.
She also warned of continued snowfall, high winds, and the possibility of freezing rain within the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook advisory, the CBRM instructed residents to “shelter in place” and recommended clearing snow from their home’s entryways, walkways, and driveways.
With the State of Local Emergency in effect, authorities have urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel unless absolutely essential.
“Any vehicles obstructing or impeding snow removal will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.”
In addition, schools, stores, City Halls, and other municipal buildings will remain closed on Monday.
In the Halifax Regional Municipality, another heavily impacted area where over 30 cm of snow has accumulated, most main roads are passable, although many surfaces remain snow-covered.
Due to the snowstorm, Halifax Transit bus and ferry services were suspended as of 9 pm on Sunday night.
Halifax residents have been advised to refrain from non-essential travel due to hazardous driving conditions and to allow snow clearing operations to continue uninterrupted.
All schools in Halifax will also remain closed on Monday.
Flight operations at Halifax airport have been canceled, with the airport urging travelers to verify the status of their flights before leaving their homes.
Services may resume on Monday, pending weather conditions.
The Nova Scotia provincial government is offering additional emergency assistance to those experiencing homelessness, with temporary emergency shelters in operation.
In a communication, residents were reminded to “check all exterior vents… and clear snow away from the vent’s opening to ensure proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation”.
Nova Scotia Power reported power outages affecting approximately 3,700 customers as of Sunday evening, with efforts underway to restore electricity in the affected areas.
The province is forecasted to experience more snowfall on Monday.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada has issued various winter storm and heavy snow warnings.