Storm slams Niagara
It's the worst snowfall to hit St. Catharines in 29 years.
A fierce winter storm blasted Niagara Friday with a record snowfall that shut down schools and public buildings and caused havoc on the roads.
The storm dumped 30 cm of snow in St. Catharines and 20 cm on the south part of the region while wind gusts of up to 50 km/h caused whiteout conditions at times.
not only dealing with the falling snow, we're dealing with the fact it's being picked up and blown around by these gusting winds, said Geoff Coulson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
The accumulation surpassed the 24 hour high of 26.4 cm that fell in St. Catharines in December 2008 and was the most snow in one day since Feb. 28, 1984, when the city was slammed with 46.8 cm.
Coulson said the mild winters of the past two years may have given residents in Niagara a false sense of winter weather.
previous winters, having a big storm system move through Southern Ontario and leave significant snowfalls behind would be something we would expect to get a couple of times a winter, he said. almost like we've come to expect what's been happening the last two winters to continue forever, and obviously that's not the case. Canada had predicted the nasty weather Thursday and by early Friday morning both the Catholic and public school boards closed elementary and high schools. Both Brock University and Niagara College followed suit by cancelling all classes.
As the weather deteriorated, more and more businesses shut their doors or announced early closures.
Both the Niagara Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police were encouraging drivers to stay off the roads unless they had to travel.
you don't have to be out here, don't be out here," OPP Niagara detachment Staff Sgt. Jan Idzenga said.
By mid afternoon, the OPP said it had responded to dozens of calls on the 406 and QEW, including numerous involving snow plows and salt trucks.
is just going way too fast, Idzenga said. have to slow down. Our officers are out there all day long and they're not driving off the road arbitrarily. massive quantity of snow made things difficult for the city's snow removal staff.
has been a challenge, said Robert Riediger, St. Catharines manager of operations for public works. been using every piece of equipment we own and as many contractors as we've had available to us. late Friday afternoon, many of the city's main routes had been plowed and work work was under way to clear secondary streets. However, because of the amount of snow that was falling, Riediger said equipment would have to be pulled back onto main roads as more snow accumulated.
target is to get it all done as quickly as we can, he said, adding that the city was using 26 of its own plows and more than 50 pieces of equipment in total to clear roads and sidewalks. Niagara Falls, numerous customers were left stranded at Niagara Fallsview Casino after their buses back to Toronto were cancelled.
Tolga Pakdil, from Toronto, was expecting to take one of the buses Friday morning,michael kors ipad mini 2 case
, but decided to wait it out for a few hours before making other plans.
the buses aren running then we just might have to take a cab. It going to cost me $160 instead of $15, he said. just hoping this will blow over later in the day and still be able to catch the bus. course, the closures also meant a play day for thousands of kids and adults across the region.
Despite the chilly temperatures, St. Catharines personal trainer Peter Karanfilis headed out into the snow Friday morning wearing only his skivvies and a smile.
told my wife I had to do my workout and she said I always tell people not to let anything stop you, he said.
Karanfilis' wife Julie sent a picture of her husband working out in the snow to the Weather Network Canada and it quickly went viral with more than 800 Facebook shares and 200 comments many giving the man kudos for having a bit of fun.