Visibility was sharply reduced on highways in western Newfoundland Thursday morning, with officials asking motorists to stay off some roads. Courtesy Donnie O'Keefe
Western and central Newfoundland were dealing with a wintry storm on Thursday morning, the second in just a few days to push into the island.
Driving conditions had deteriorated in some areas to the point that government officials urged people to stay off the roads, while Corner Brook pulled buses off the road for at least the morning.
High wind warnings were issued for much of the province, with gusts hitting as much as 129 km/h in coastal areas.
Power outages were reported in both the southern Avalon and Burin peninsulas.
Marine Atlantic has tied up its ferries for the time being until conditions improve, affecting plans for pre-Christmas travellers and commercial shipping.
Schools in various communities, including Corner Brook, Gander, Port aux Basques, and those on the Port au Port and Burin peninsulas, were closed for at least the morning.
Newfoundland and Labrador's transportation department advised drivers to stay off several highways in western Newfoundland, including from Deer Lake to Gros Morne National Park and in the areas of Corner Brook and Port aux Basques.
David Neil, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said parts of western Newfoundland got the most snow overnight, which means heavy shovelling on top of a storm that hit Monday.
"Areas west of the track, we saw heavy snow, basically right on through northeast and through western Newfoundland," he said.
Snow through late Wednesday night had affected visibility across the island, with RCMP reporting that highway driving in the Clarenville area, for instance, had dropped to zero visibility.
Driving conditions on Thursday morning were reported to still be poor west of Gander.
On the Avalon Peninsula, a light snowfall gave way to rain and high winds.
Winter storm warnings have ended in western Newfoundland, although wind warnings were still in effect.