ROCKY HARBOUR — In perhaps the ultimate of weather ironies, Rocky Harbour resident Michael Walsh had a wind-measuring instrument, but it blew away in Sunday night’s storm.
Other local weather buffs that retained their equipment measured wind speeds of up to and over 200 km/hr as a major winter storm ravaged most of the west coast, knocking out power lines, destroying buildings and creating hazardous driving conditions.
A restaurant in Norris Point had its roof ripped completely off in the wind. A shed was destroyed in the same area, causing its roof to crash into power lines, which reportedly contributed to the power outage. Homes from Stephenville, on up to Parson’s Pond and beyond, lost siding and shingles.
The storm also closed schools in the region for most of Monday.
In Sally’s Cove, residents lost power around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, but it was restored just after 2 a.m. Monday.
“It’s a good thing too,” said Sally’s Cove resident William Endicott. “I only got electric power here.”
Endicott said his town received its share of damage to some homes, but everyone seemed to be doing well.
Unfortunately residents of Rocky Harbour weren’t so lucky. Some of them still didn’t have power at 3 p.m. Monday.
But it wasn’t just houses damaged. The storm created some traffic hazards as an 18-wheeler jackknifed on the Trans-Canada Highway at the Birchy Narrows-Hampden Junction, closing the section of the highway for a few hours Sunday night. The RCMP in both Rocky Harbour and Deer Lake reported several fender-benders and cars off the road, but no major injuries.
“I think people get the message they need to slow down, especially when it’s raining as well as snowing, when the highway gets wet and freezes,” said Cpl. Steven O’Blenis of the Deer Lake RCMP.
About 5,400 customers were without power north of Sally’s Cove. Adding to the frustration, NL Hydro said there was a delay in repairs because the storm was creating unsafe working conditions.
Another update will be issued Tuesday morning from the power company. Snow is expected for most of this week, with temperatures rising above zero.