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We begin in St. John's where the mayor has just declared a state of emergency. A
major blizzard is slamming the region and as you can see there's very little
visibility on the roads due to all that blowing snow, the forecast suggests these
treacherous conditions won't be letting up anytime soon the CBC's Kayla Hansell
is braving the outdoors for us today as she has been all morning she joins us
live from St. John's, Kayla thanks for being there for us what is the situation
there like right now? Hi John well as you said the mayor of St. John's has
declared a state of that of emergency, that state of emergency is in effect
immediately and until further notice and what that means is that all businesses
have been ordered to shut down all vehicles other than emergency vehicles
have been ordered off the roads so in that statement from the city of St.
John's they actually say no vehicles are permitted to use city streets, plows will
continue but otherwise the city of st. John's urging people stay home,
do not drive until this state of emergency has been lifted I mean you can
see the conditions it is a complete blizzard whiteout situation has been
progressively getting worse throughout the morning which is as it was forecast
to do. The snow is coming down very heavy very quickly, the wind has been
intensifying all morning long I mean it's just the kind that's hitting you in
the face as I'm here trying to speak to you you can
probably hear it's taking my breath away a little bit so that you know our
situation the CBC has also pulled all of its crews off the road so we're just
here at our hotel just outside of our hotel to bring you this story in the
safest way possible. Again the city is shut down, schools were closed, city buses
were pulled off the roads long before the state of emergency went into effect
government buildings also closed for the day, of course ferry service has been
stopped and flights grounded. Air Canada sent extra flights in last night to get
people out ahead of the storm but if you didn't manage to get out it looks like
we're gonna be here for a while officials really asking for patience
urging people to understand that this is not just this one very bad storm which
is very bad a nasty one even by
Newfoundland standards but that there have been multiple storms one on top of
another very recently which means they haven't been able to get ahead of the
snow clearing so this is gonna take some time certainly throughout the weekend
even after this weather stops which is supposed to continue into tomorrow at
least but really looking at at least Monday before this province is back up
and running John. Thanks for this Kayla CBC's Kayla Hansel in St. John's
Newfoundland well for more on how the city is coping we are joined now by a
man who's very busy and we appreciate his time today the mayor of St. John's
Danny Breen thanks for joining us sir, as Kayla was saying you've just declared a
state of emergency in your city, why did you do that?
well this is a very unique situation that we have we had a tremendous amount
of snow underground we had about 170 centimeters because we had back-to-back
storms and and snowfalls we weren't able to get the amount of removal and
pushback and widening of streets done that that we normally would have had
done in sidewalk clearing, so we have a situation with 70 centimeters of snow
coming it was just going to be it's going to have a tremendous cleanup and
the top of that the combination of a heavy snow and a the rate of snow
along with very high wind levels add a level of danger to this that we wanted
to make sure that we that we just were able to to keep the emergency routes
open, do as much plowing and clearing of sidewalks of streets that we could and
and be able to to clean up after the after the storm.
You mentioned the element of danger what is the message that you want your
residents to hear loud and clear with you imposing the state of emergency? We
want everybody to stay home, we want everybody to stay safe we if you have
neighbors that you know that may need some assistance reach out to them if you
can just to make sure everything is okay and we just want to be able to to to
weather the storms so to speak. The one of the things that the wind levels are
going to be increasing and with that there's always a concern for power
outages and those things so the city has our staff our necessary staff on standby
to deal with any of the further actions that may happen as a result of this
storm. Just to not put too fine a point on it but that person who says you know
what I just want to get some milk I just want to get some eggs I'm just going to
the store it's just around the corner what would you advise that person to do
who might be thinking of taking a calculated risk under these
circumstances? I would advise them to stay home because those uh the state of
emergency order is closing all businesses in the city so they they're
not going to be able to to go to the store they're not going to be able to go
out to to do any of those things additionally if they just decide that
they want to go out I would strongly recommend they stay at home, the winds
are going to be high the visibility is very poor is just better for everyone
and safer if people just stay at home and wait for the storm to
subside. Have you had a chance to gauge how people are feeling about all this,
what are you hearing from them and what are their concerns with this storm? Well
it's really it's you know it we're used to having snow or where we're not used
to having this much snow this early and where we're certainly not used to having
a combination of seventy centimeters of snow and very high winds so, people
understand they they understand what's what the what the challenge is there but
still there's going to be a very very significant cleanup not only for the
city but for private businesses and for private homeowners into the next few
days so this is this is a major storm and people are very concerned about it.
You say the next few days and I understand that the state of emergency
is in effect until further notice, how long do you think folks are going to
have to hunker down? I have no idea right now it depends when the storm subsides
and on how much snow is on the ground when
were when were completed and how we can get the city open again but we we will
have it in place until we're satisfied that we can return to normal operations
here. So worth emphasizing even though it may have stopped snowing in a day or two
it could be several more days as I understand what you're saying before
streets are safe for people to go out again. We are going to take whatever time
we need here to to make sure that the streets are opened and that we're able
to get back to normal operations. Mayor Breen I understand of course you're a
busy man these days thanks for taking the time out to talk to us, best of luck
with you and your community and we'll be staying in touch throughout the weekend.
Appreciate it thank you very much, okay all the best Mayor Danny Breen speaking
to us live from St. John's Newfoundland
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State of emergency declared in St. John's

21 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on February 17, 2020
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