Haligonians brave weekend-long snow storm

HALIFAX, N.S. — Snow, snow and more snow.

Sunday morning Halifax had been hit by near three quarters of a metre of the white stuff. There is more of it to come in the forecast.

Michael Bryson says he doesn’t mind. Between Saturday and Sunday he’d spent a couple hours shovelling. A snowy landscape makes a good winter, he says.

“I want regular snow — maybe not quite this much, but it’s beautiful,” he said. “I’ve got buddies in the (U.S.) and I’m sending them pictures. They’re not envious, but I’m bragging about it.”

Plus, a good old fashion storm means fun for the kids, he said. A smattering of them were sliding the slopes of Citadel Hill Sunday morning. They were possibly gleeful from the news that Halifax Regional Centre for Education announced Sunday that schools will be closed on Monday.

Call it winter’s first blast, from one end of the province to the other. Alister Aalders, SaltWire’s weather specialist, had been following the weekend mayhem closely, providing updates on his Facebook page. By Sunday morning he’d reported Eastern Nova Scotia had been hit by as much as 70 centimetres of snow. He’d heard that a metre of snow fell in the Sydney area.

There was more to come. Moderate to heavy snowfall continued to push into eastern Cape Breton Sunday

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“For the rest of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. we have periods of snow that are light to moderate,” reported Aalders. “Of course, winds are major factors blowing this snow around and reducing visibility.”

A snowblower makes its way up the sidewalk on Sackville Street in downtown Halifax on Sunday. – Andrew Rankin

More than 3,700 customers in the province were without power early Sunday afternoon, with the majority of outages in Cape Breton.

Halifax Transit was finally back on the road Sunday at noon after suspending service for nearly 24 hours. That made getting around a challenge with most sidewalks in the city left unplowed until late evening Saturday. Meanwhile, Transit Cape Breton kept its buses off the road Sunday.

In Halifax, Cameron Bartlett and his four-and-a-half year old pooch Teemu ( a border collie and English springer spaniel mix) ventured out of their home Sunday morning for some croissants. They were off to LF Bakery on Gottingen Street.

Bartlett said the storm brought back memories of White Juan, the hurricane-strength nor’easter blizzard that hit Halifax and the rest of Atlantic Canada two decades ago. “It’s not quite as bad but it reminds me of that … I honestly didn’t know what to expect.”

Michael Bryson got his Sunday morning workout in at his home on Oxford Street in Halifax. - Andrew Rankin
Michael Bryson got his Sunday morning workout in at his home on Oxford Street in Halifax. – Andrew Rankin

He said the storm kept him busy. He’d shovelled his driveway on Oxford Street four times. But he didn’t seem to mind, especially having braved bone-chilling Calgary winters. He said he’d take a few snow bombs any day over that.

He still had a few complaints about snow clearing.

“The fire hydrants are completely and utterly buried by the snowplow crews,” he said. “They didn’t do a very good job of clearing the streets.”

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