Trans-Canada Highway closed to traffic

Frank Gale
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Washout near South Branch being worked on

SOUTH BRANCH   The Trans-Canada Highway was closed to traffic for most of Thursday in an area about four or five kilometres east of South Branch after the road was washed out underneath the pavement by high water in the area of a small brook around 8:45 a.m.

The section of highway did reopen to one lane of traffic Thursday night, a transportation official confirmed.

Repairs didn’t start until Thursday evening as Department of Transportation employees waited out high winds and heavy rain before attempting repairs.

Cpl. Mike Reidpath of the Channel-Port aux Basques RCMP initially suspected traffic might not be moving in that area until sometime Friday evening.

Reidpath said a woman was supposed to be transported by ambulance from the Charles R. LeGrow Health Centre in Port aux Basques to Western Regional Hospital in Corner Brook, however the ambulance was unable to make the trip.

Meanwhile, Darrell Mercer of Marine Atlantic said the weather affected the ferry schedule, and on Thursday the MV Blue Puttees was tied up in Port aux Basques, while both the Leif Erickson and the Highlanders were tied up at the wharf in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

He said the Leif Erickson was scheduled to depart Sydney at 6 a.m. Friday and both the passenger ferries were scheduled to depart their respective ports at 10 a.m. Friday.

Mercer said there was a backlog of traffic at both ports, so the washout on the Trans-Canada Highway shouldn’t affect the schedule. He was hopeful the washed out area would be repaired in time for the arrival of the Highlanders Friday afternoon.

While there was no flooding reported in Stephenville with the inclement weather on Thursday, a hydro pole broke off at the intersection of St. Clare Avenue and Maple Street, affecting about 100 Newfoundland Power customers for several hours Thursday afternoon. A crew from Curtis Powerworks was on hand to replace the pole late Thursday afternoon.

Power was still out in parts of Stephenville as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Some flooding took place in the Loch Leven area of Bay St. George South, where water ran over the road and trees had to be cleared to prevent damages to power lines.

Organizations: SOUTH BRANCH The Trans-Canada Highway, Department of Transportation, Channel-Port aux Basques RCMP Western Regional Hospital Marine Atlantic MV Blue Puttees Newfoundland Power

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, Sydney, Stephenville Corner Brook Clare Avenue Maple Street Loch Leven

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