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Crews continuing cleanup around St. John's following weekend snowstorm

Crews are continuing clean-up efforts around the St. John's area following over 70 centimetres of snow on Friday and Saturday. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC - image credit)
Crews are continuing clean-up efforts around the St. John's area following over 70 centimetres of snow on Friday and Saturday. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC - image credit)
Crews are continuing clean-up efforts around the St. John's area following over 70 centimetres of snow on Friday and Saturday.
Crews are continuing clean-up efforts around the St. John's area following over 70 centimetres of snow on Friday and Saturday.

Crews are continuing cleanup efforts around the St. John's area following over 70 centimetres of snow on Friday and Saturday. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

Residents and city workers in the St. John's area are continuing to clean up following a dumping of heavy snow over Friday and Saturday.

Seventy-two centimetres of snow was reported at St. John's International Airport over two days. St. John's Mayor Danny Breen said cleanup is time-consuming, but city crews are making their way through it.

"We had a lot of drifting that caused problems. We were able to keep our plows on the road during the whole storm," Breen told reporters Monday.

"We had a lot of cars that were left abandoned or just left and couldn't get off the road on Friday evening and into Saturday. That created a lot of problems, particularly in the downtown area. And I know in some areas downtown, we had to use sidewalk snowplows to get up some of the streets because of the cars and that."

Breen said crews are focused on widening streets across the city Monday and on snow removal in areas prone to flooding. If a street hasn't been widened yet, he said, it will be done in time.

"We have all our resources out and dealing with the next wave of whatever it is we're going to be dealing with," Breen said.

"It is a lot of snow to fall in a short period of time…. But it's going to take a while to get it cleaned up."

Breen said the city has a $25-million snowplowing budget, but will dip into a reserve pool of leftover funds from previous years for this season. He's unclear of how much the storm will cost to clean, but says safety for residents is paramount.

Cleanup is also continuing at St. John's International Airport.

"I think the amount was a big surprise to everybody, passengers and the general public alike. But, you know, certainly snow events always have an impact on airports, but we're always ready for it," Lisa Bragg, the St. John's International Airport Authority's director of business development said Monday.

Lisa Bragg is director of business development and marketing with the St. John's International Airport Authority. She said crews are working to clean up sidewalks and roads around the airport, but said runways are in good shape.
Lisa Bragg is director of business development and marketing with the St. John's International Airport Authority. She said crews are working to clean up sidewalks and roads around the airport, but said runways are in good shape.

Lisa Bragg is director of business development and marketing with the St. John's International Airport Authority. She said crews are working to clean up sidewalks and roads around the airport, but said runways are in good shape. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Some flights were cancelled at the airport on Friday and Saturday, but Bragg said the airport's runways didn't close, unlike the "Snowmageddon" storm of 2020.

Bragg said cleanup efforts have been "substantial" over the last couple of days and are continuing on Monday. If passengers returning need help with the piled-up snow, the airport has made shovels available for use at the parking booth.

Not over just yet

More messy weather is expected for Monday, with almost all of Newfoundland under multiple weather warnings from Environment Canada.

The Avalon, Burin and Bonavista peninsulas are under rainfall and wind warnings Monday, and could see between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain on Monday evening and into Tuesday. Localized flooding is possible given the recent snowfall, according to Environment Canada.

"We have another crew that are out looking at the issues that may arise coming from flooding with the expected amount of rain," Breen said.

St. John's Mayor Danny Breen said clean-up following this weekend's storm is continuing but will take time.`
St. John's Mayor Danny Breen said clean-up following this weekend's storm is continuing but will take time.`

St. John's Mayor Danny Breen says crews are working hard to clear snow ahead of forecasted rain on Monday and Tuesday. (Curtis Hicks/CBC)

"We do know some areas that have been problematic in the past, some areas that our crews are out looking at those and making sure that they're freed up. But, you know, there's a lot of catch basins in the city [and] not all of them are going to be exposed in time for the rain."

Much of central, western and northern Newfoundland will see the precipitation as snow. Most areas can expect between 10 and 30 centimetres between Monday and Tuesday night, but higher elevations could see as much as 50 centimetres.

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