With global warming affecting the planet, we’re seeing more and more extreme weather all over the world. We’ve written extensively about the bushfires (and now floods) ravaging Australia. But it’s not the only place to see unprecedented weather. A massive blizzard hit Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, covering the area in huge amounts of snow.
Canadians wanted to show the world just what the worst blizzard in half a century looks like, so they posted a whole bunch of pictures online. From snow completely covering home entrances to roaring gusts of wind, the views from the city of St. John’s and other Canadian cities now look like from some distant icy planet.
Scroll down for some jaw-dropping shots from blizzard-covered Canada and upvote your faves. Don’t forget to send our friendly Canadian buddies some warmth and love!
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The snowstorm hit Newfoundland on Friday and many Canadians found themselves trapped in their homes due to the snow blocking the entrances to their homes. What’s more, this is far from the end: meteorologists are promising even more snow in the near future.
But the authorities of St. John’s were prepared for such a challenge. The mayor of the city, Danny Breen, declared a state of emergency on Friday, demanding that all businesses close and that all transport vehicles refrain from driving on the roads. With the exception of emergency vehicles, of course.
Bored Panda spoke to Beth Saunders, a local from St. John's, about the situation there. "We knew for about a week that a weather system was coming but we didn't quite understand how intense it would be. As the days got closer the snowfall and wind speed estimates kept increasing. As of Tuesday they were calling for 40 to 60cm, but as of Thursday evening these amounts were increased to 90+ cm of snow and 150+ km/hr winds."
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"The weather people were very on top of this storm and kept everyone in the know. The stores were blocked on Thursday with everyone trying to stock up on food and supplies before the weather hit. The city even called a State of Emergency for Friday on Thursday before anything happened because they knew how bad it would be. We've experienced bad storms before with much lower snowfall amounts," she said.
Beth said that it's stopped snowing currently, but the city is still paralyzed from all the snow. "It's now Monday morning and we're on day 4 of the State of Emergency. This means businesses must remain closed and vehicles have to stay off the road or there's a risk of several thousand dollars in fines. The snow has stopped but we need time to figure out where to put it all. A lot of cars are completely covered with snow which is taking hours upon hours to shovel out. "
"Since we're in a State of Emergency, businesses are forced to close today. All local schools have been cancelled and no one is allowed to return to work (unless you're an essential service like a plow operator or medical professional that has to be at the hospital). Some businesses have staff working remotely from home when possible, but otherwise things are not operating."
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According to Beth, the locals are trying to make the best of a bad situation. "People have been trying to make the best of this situation as much as possible! As you may have seen online, some people are snowboarding and snowshoeing down major downtown streets, having bonfires in their yards with neighbors, making igloos with makeshift refrigerators for their beer and so on!"
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According to Global News, 93 cm of snow fell in Mount Pearl, while Paradise got 91 cm. Meanwhile, 78 cm of snow fell in St. John’s International Airport—the highest in that area since 1942! So you can bet that no planes will be taking off or landing there for some time.
Despite the extreme weather, the residents of Newfoundland are coming together to tackle this crisis: neighbors are helping each other out, whether it’s digging through all the snow or helping others locate what they need, from gasoline to medicine.
On Sunday, the Armed Forces were deployed to help the residents out as well. Corporal Tiffany Mackey said that she feels glad to be helping the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her stepmother spent 50 hours at one of St. John’s hospitals during the snowstorm and had this to say: “We’re using our resources to help the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with this snow mess. The fact I can help out and give back is a really good feeling.”