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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

We begin in St. John's where the mayor has just declared a state of emergency. A

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State of emergency declared in St. John's

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/02/16
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