TRURO, N.S. — Many residents around Colchester County will be nursing sore backs from shovelling themselves out of last weekend’s storm.
Beginning on Friday, Feb. 2, Nova Scotia saw persisting snow and wind, finally slowing down on Monday, Feb. 5.
Though official observations haven’t been reported as of the time of writing, Saltire’s weather expert Allister Aalders said volunteers with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) reported a snowfall of around 44 centimetres between Friday and Monday. Aalders also noted snow drifts may be higher than expected due to persistent winds.
Truro’s seen worse
Rod and Shelly DeViller are residents of Truro’s East End. They had been consistently shovelling their driveway throughout the weekend to ensure the snow never piled up too much.
It would’ve been much easier if their snowblower had been working. They only managed to start it on Monday when most of the work was done.
While it was admittedly a pain, Shelly said it doesn’t compare to some of the storms of Truro’s past.
“2015 was the snow from hell,” said Shelly. “To get around town was like travelling through rat mazes. The snow was piling up so high.”
“There was just no place to put it,” Rod added.
It also doesn’t compare to White Juan, a record-breaking hurricane-strength blizzard that blew through Nova Scotia in February 2004.
“Not here in the Truro area,” said Shelly. “We lost power during White Juan. I remember heating baby bottles on a candle.”
“Can’t imagine Cape Breton, though, because they got walloped,” added Rod. “They got the majority of the snow – about twice as much as we did.”
Parts of Cape Breton saw up to 150 centimetres of snow. The Municipality of Cape Breton issued a seven-day state of emergency due to the storm.
While it’ll be a fun few days for Truro’s youth as they slide down every hill they can, Shelly feels for the seniors on her street who cannot shovel their driveways.
“Some of the seniors around here are really struggling to get their driveways cleaned out,” she said.
As executive director of the Colchester Food Bank, she also noted they closed today as there was too much snow blocking the entrances, and the roads were too poor for volunteers to make it into town. It impacts not only when people will be able to pick up their food but also when deliveries are made to the food bank.
Despite this, Shelly was thankful for the Town of Truro’s Public Works Department.
“I’m shocked to see even some of the sidewalks out today,” said Shelly. “They were non-stop with the trucks on the roads.”
Over the weekend, Nova Scotia RCMP reported several vehicle accidents across the province as some roadways experienced white-out conditions.
RCMP spokesperson Const. Dominic Laflamme said they received 14 collision calls for Colchester County over the weekend, adding there could be more not yet reported to police.
One accident involved a tractor-trailer near Masstown going off the road and jack-knifing in the ditch just off the Hwy. 104, near the interchange Monday morning.
Truro & Colchester Code 1 reported that Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade attended the accident and witnessed two tractor-trailers off the road as they returned to haul the Masstown truck out of the ditch.
David Westlake, the emergency management co-ordinator for Colchester County, said public works crews with the Town of Truro and province have “worked diligently throughout the weekend to attempt to keep the roads passable.” He asks residents to remain patient as cleanup efforts could take a few days to complete.
If residents must travel, Westlake advises motorists to ensure their vehicles are completely cleared of snow and that their destination is open before leaving.
Westlake also mentioned taking care while shovelling snow, as it can be a strenuous activity, and ensuring vents around your home have been cleared of snow.
Several businesses, including The Hub, decided to remain closed over the weekend as the storm passed through Truro.
Also impacted was the Truro town hall, which opted to remain closed on Monday, rescheduling their African Heritage Month ceremony and monthly council meeting to Monday, Feb. 12. The Douglas Street Recreation Centre was closed during the day but reopened at 5 p.m.
STEPS on Arthur, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Colchester Food Bank, the Colchester East Hants Public Library, the Municipality of Colchester offices, the Colchester Waste Management Facility, and the CTCL bus service were all closed on Monday, as well.
Around the province
Unofficial reports from CoCoRaHS and preliminary reports from Environment Canada show that Halifax airport received around 85 centimetres of snow, while the Halifax Regional Municipality was hit with between 30 and 52 centimetres.
Pictou Landing saw 115 centimetres touch down. Spanish Ship Bay saw 105 centimetres. Cape Breton Island was hit hard, with the unofficial snowfall amount being between 69 centimetres and 150 centimetres.
Southwest Nova Scotia and Annapolis Valley saw between one and 30 centimetres of snow, with Lower West Pubnico seeing the least amount of snow across the province.