cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:27:33 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Worst of blizzard still to come for Nova Scotians

All bundled up in Halifax for the frosty morning walk. CBC

All bundled up in Halifax for the frosty morning walk. CBC

Nova Scotia is slowing to a halt, as the second wave of a blizzard starts to hit the region.

Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning for most of mainland Nova Scotia on Wednesday.

So far all public schools and most private schools are cancelled in the province. Flights at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport are grounded and Marine Atlantic has cancelled its crossing between North Sydney and southern Newfoundland.

The first wave dusted the region with five to seven centimetres of snow in the morning, but CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said the worst of the weather conditions will hit between noon and 8 p.m. AT.

"The second, heavier round of snow will bring in additional accumulations of 15 to 25 centimetres through the afternoon and into the evening," he said.

Winds are also expected to pick up and the north and northeast gusts will approach 80 km/h.

Whiteout conditions 

Mitchell said that will mean visibility across Nova Scotia will get progressively worse, down to whiteout conditions, through the afternoon.

Nova Scotia RCMP are asking people not to drive, unless absolutely necessary.

Mitchell said the worst times to drive will be between noon and 8 p.m.

Snowplow crews have been out since midnight in Halifax.

Darrin Natolino, acting superintendent of winter works for the region, said the first push is getting regional plows out and then hiring contractors if need be.

“We basically just keep adding on trucks and equipment until we get to the point that we're able to keep up to the storm. In a storm like this, where it'll be sustained throughout the course of a 24-hour period, we also have to be aware of what time we deploy our heavy equipment,” he said.

Natolino said this is just the beginning of what could be a long couple of days for those out plowing the streets.

“Obviously if there's more cars on the road traffic it is slower, the snow's getting packed down and of course since the traffic is slower, so are our snowplows,” he said.

The provincial team in Antigonish is using borrowed equipment after three plows were destroyed by a fire on Monday. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.

Working through the snow

Dozens of offices and businesses are closed, but for some, like Laurie Munroe, it’s work as usual.

Despite the frosty weather, Munroe prefers to deliver mail in shorts. He claims he hasn’t worn pants in decades.

“Doesn’t happen. I never put pants on,” he said. “I don’t mind this.”

It's not tax season yet, so Donna Skeffington is making some extra cash clearing the sidewalks.

She’s a tax accountant by trade, but on Tuesday morning, she was found shovelling the sidewalks downtown.

“I'm just waiting for the Revenue Canada doors to open up and meanwhile, I'm shovelling snow, getting exercise and getting paid for it,” she said.

For cancellations click here.

more video