'Code Black' Blizzard Paralyzes Eastern Canada
Thursday, February 19, 2004; 4:47 PM
TORONTO (Reuters) - Two of Canada's Atlantic provinces
declared a state of emergency on Thursday after they were hit
by a powerful blizzard that forced even snowplows to stay off
The Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island and Nova
Scotia were slammed by 26 inches of snow combined with winds of
up to 60 mph, which made for whiteout conditions across much of
"Today's storm has practically shut down the entire
province and it isn't over yet," said Ernest Fage, the minister
responsible for emergency measures in Nova Scotia, which
declared first-ever "Code Black," according to CBC News
The TransCanada Highway was closed and the 8-mile
Confederation Bridge, which connects Prince Edward Island to
the mainland was impassable.
Flights were canceled, and schools, government offices and
businesses were shut. Individuals were asked to stay off the
roads as whiteouts and drifting snow made driving nearly
Under the state of emergency, all non-essential workers
were asked to stay home. Ambulances were responding first to
people with life-threatening injuries or illnesses in Nova
Heavy snowfall also hit parts of southern New Brunswick and
there was blowing snow in Newfoundland, which could later be
mixed with rain overnight.
Environment Canada issued blizzard warnings on Thursday for
Nova Scotia, P.E.I., New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.
Claude Cote, a meteorologist at Environment Canada, said
the weather system is slowly moving out, with about 4 to 6
inches of snow expected overnight, though strong winds will
remain. The blizzard is heading toward Newfoundland, Canada's
most easterly province, he added.
Cote said high tides could also bring storm surges, which
could lead to flooding in some communities. A storm surge is
caused when water levels rise to higher than normal levels
caused by wind and pressure forces.
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