January 17, 2020 Snowmaggedon Mega Blizzard (84 Photos)


84.   Winter 2019-2020 is shaping up to be one for the record books. This week forecasters gave notice that we could receive up to 70cm snow coupled with extreme winds in an event lasting more than 24 hours.




83.   They were right, as the storm ended there was 72cm snow on the ground at St. John's International peaking to over 90cm in Mount Pearl and Paradise!  On Friday everything in the city shut down ahead of the storm, by 10:30am we had severe white out conditions.




82.   Sustained winds hit 107 km/h gusting to 160km/h in the afternoon! Coupled with heavy snow it was a literal white out for most of the day Friday.




81.   The big news from this event was that all snow clearing operations ceased Friday afternoon which meant streets filled and drifted like never before! This lead to a huge effort required by city crews once snow clearing operations resumed Saturday morning. Because of this most municipalities in the Metro region declared a State of Emergency where ALL business's had to close and ALL vehicles ordered off the road so the cities could get to work unimpeded.




80.   The storm lasted all day and all night with winds galing and shaking the house.




79.   With people loosing power all over town Sandra and I had lots of preparations underway. Water buckets were filled as our well pump wont run without power (the storm would have to die down a bit to even set up our standby generator) Sandra made a kick ass pot of stew which could be easily reheated, flashlights and phones were kept on charge.




78.    Although there were many power outages in the metro region we were fortunate not to loose ours here in Torbay.




77.   I also made sure the truck was full of gas, all my gas cans full, and a supermarket run complete well ahead of the storm and crazy last minute storm chip shoppers.




76.   Sooley's driveway in Paradise.




75.   Ronnie's Basement door in Mount Pearl.




74.   Janes kitchen window in Southlands.












71.   Justin managed to get out ahead of the SOE to get some snow moved on his lot, putting his new Duramax Sierra plow truck to the test!




70.   Rob from R&D Towing was not spared from the storm's fury in Centre City.




69.   There was a lot of snow but the wind made this a truly wicked storm.




68.   Things didn't get better overnight as wind shifted direction and started moving the drifts around again.








66.   Saturday morning arrived and the winds finally died down to something deal-with-able around 11am so I suited up and headed outside.
















62.   Although our neighborhood is wide open here in Torbay, drifting still occurs around our vehicles.












59.   The wind driven snow was packed in super dense. It was in no way light and fluffy, you could almost walk on the drifts.








57.   The back window of Area51 is completely blocked!




56.   With my trusty Honda 9/28 gassed up and warmed up I got to work.




55.   The outer end of the driveway wasn't too bad, just over the height of my bucket but the Honda ate through it with ease.




54.   It was one of the first times since moving to Torbay where the street didn't even have one cut. Drifts across the road were huge.



53.   When our road was finally opened up late that afternoon the CAT 950 loader had a wicked job to break a path though.








51.   The engine compartment of my truck filled in completely. I cleared out  a lot of the snow but it still threw the fan belt. A half hour of cursing and digging out snow by hand and I had the unbroken (thankfully) fan belt reinstalled. I left the truck running for a couple hours to melt the remaining snow and dry out the engine compartment.




50.   Sandra's car was completely packed in. It struggled but thankfully its all wheel drive system worked well and it finally broke free from its snow cocoon.




49.   Once again the basement door filled in completely and then some. The weight of snow actually broke off the exterior light! It took awhile and a lot of effort but I finally got it cleared out.




























42.   Even our rear patio door was completely blocked. Fortunately during the storm the front door stayed clear so I didn't have to venture out in the worst of the weather to keep a door free.




41.   The ol' Honda powered through and got the job done and we even helped out a couple of neighbors with their driveways as well. It took me over 5 hours to get all my snow blowing, shoveling and neighbors helped out after the storm.




40.   Janes backyard in Southlands.




39.   Southlands, there's a street there somewhere!




38.   Janes put his Honda 7/24 to work moving 90cm wind driven snow in Southlands.








36.   Sooley didn't fare much better, completely socked in in Paradise.




35.   Lester's Patio was completely buried near Topsail Pond in Paradise.




34.   City plows were having a rough time, most streets were barely goat paths as the SOE remained in effect.





33.   Townhouses on Faiweather Avenue in Mount Pearl were in for a treat having very little real estate for stacking snow.








31.   Dad also got well and truly buried out in Bay Roberts with a massive 7 foot drift outside the garage!




30.   Definitely not as bas as what the department of highways faced for the next week.








28.   Some city shots from the snowmaggedon warriors FB group.




27.   Some city shots from the snowmaggedon warriors FB group.




26.   Some city shots from the snowmaggedon warriors FB group.




25.   On Sunday French and Stroh had an emergency call-out to Costco and found the road into Galway almost a tunnel!




24.   With the 24hour SOE still in effect I decided to pass some time by finishing the track install on project Argo Sunday morning. My new replacement track sections arrived ahead of the storm so I fitted them in place and installed the tracks following the Argo Accessory installation manual.




23.   I didn't want to go far by myself so I rode around the yard and up on back of our house for a half hour or so to give the tracks a good workout.




















18.   On Monday the towns of Torbay, St. Phillips, and Paradise lifted the SOE from 9am to 6pm. Sandra and I took advantage of the temporary freedom and headed to Sobeys in Paradise to re stock some supplies. We wanted to be legal and completely avoid St. John's so we went down Torbay Road, Indian Meal Line, Tuckers Hill, and St. Thomas Line to Sobeys. It was a nice drive, roads were narrow but drivers were overall patient and seemingly appreciative of being aloud out even for a short time.




17.   Lineups at the supermarket were long but very well organized by staff. Even with a very long line we were only waiting for about 20 minutes.




16.   On Tuesday St. John's temporarily lifted some SOE restrictions for a short time allowing stores that sell groceries, pharmaceuticals and fuel to open. Line ups in the morning were absolutely insane. Sandra and I avoided it completely having already restocked Monday. Costco was not nearly as busy and by 3pm there were no supermarket lineups and still lots of product on the shelves. pic from snowmaggedon 2020 FB group.


15.   By Wednesday municipalities outside St. John's began relaxing their SOE until 9pm or Midnight and were completely lifted by the end of the week. This meant we could get back to our routine of going for a coffee in the evenings. Roads were still narrow and St. John's a state. St. John's would finally lift their SOE Saturday morning.








13.   With life getting back to normal, the snow clearing contractor for the St. John's Rod and Gun Club sent us some pics of what he faced out at the club in Holyrood. He had to get a ride in from the highway on a tracked side by side (drove right over the front gate) to get to his plow in near Range A.








































3.   A crew of dedicated arrived at the club to shovel out doors and cleanup inside the clubhouse which fell victim to the high winds with some snow accumulation inside.







1.   This storm was absolutely crazy. It broke previous records for most snow in a 24 hour period and was one of the top storms in decades. It was also the first State of Emergency declared since the ice storm of 1984. A very new experience for most of us. We survived the storm and we survived the SOE and have been enjoying all of the snow outdoors ever since!

Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith