CBRM declares local state of emergency as it grapples with major storm

Cape Breton Regional Municipality has declared a local state of emergency as the region grapples with a winter storm that could bring as much as 150 centimetres of snow by the time it passes.

CBRM mayor Amanda McDougall said Sunday that after a meeting with the provincial command centre she became aware that there was not going to be a provincial state of emergency.

She said an emergency meeting of CBRM council followed and the vote for the seven-day local state of emergency was unanimous.

Massive winter storm pounds Cape Breton, N.S., with ‘abundance of snow,’ mayor says

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, says her community needs more resources from the federal and provincial governments to clean up from a winter storm that triggered a local state of emergency.

McDougall said the state of emergency gives the municipality the authority to control or prohibit travel and to authorize qualified persons to provide aid.

“It also gives us the ability to limit transit services, McDougall said. “So it gives us a bit of authority to go above what we’re able to do regularly.”

A Facebook post from the McDougall said the declaration requires approval from the provincial minister of the EMO.

Schools closed

All Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education schools and worksites will be closed Monday, according to a news release Sunday.

All schools and worksites in the Strait Regional Centre fo Education are also closing for Monday due to the weather. Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the province’s French school board, has closed its Cape Breton schools for Monday as well.

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Motorists in Cape Breton are being asked to avoid unnecessary travel.

A news release on Sunday said Cape Breton Regional Police are responding to multiple calls of stuck vehicles hindering snow removal and the passage of emergency vehicles.

Winter parking restrictions are in effect throughout the Cape Breton Regional Municipality while the snow continues. A separate release on Sunday said police will ticket and tow any vehicles obstructing snow removal.

A Facebook post from Lyle Donovan, the EMO co-ordinator for Victoria County, said 90 per cent of roads in southern Victoria County are passable with caution, but some are impassable.

Donovan said Barachois to the Englishtown Ferry is impassable and Cape Smokey is open to one lane of traffic.

Transit Cape Breton is not operating on Sunday.

As of noon Sunday the Nova Scotia Power map showed 48 outages in the region affecting about 1,200 customers, most in North Sydney. Many of the outages are listed as being due to high winds and snow.

A statement from the utility said it is working with the EMO to plow areas where outages have happened so crews can get access and make repairs.

It said snow, wind and unplowed roads are affecting the ability of crews to travel safely to outage locations.

All Cape Breton University locations are closed on Sunday and Monday because of storm conditions.

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