It’s not a new issue and a problem that will continue while drivers decide they will take the chance of braving the area even when the winds are high.
Const. Shawn Skinner of the Port aux Basques RCMP pointed out there are postings on the weather channel about potentially damaging winds in the Wreckhouse area for 24 hours prior to those winds developing.
He said signs at Mollychignic Brook near South Branch and just outside Port aux Basques warn of high winds at two levels and trucks shouldn’t go through when there are such postings.
Toivo Sepp, the driver of a transport that blew over at Wreckhouse a week ago had a different outlook on the whole issue.
He said he had received a report of decent weather from a Marine Atlantic employee and that when he came upon the sign at Mollychignic Brook he read warnings of winds at 80 km/h, which did not worry him because as an experienced truck driver he had driven through areas where winds have been much higher.
Wind gusts of 122 km/h were recorded in the area when his truck flipped on its side, but for it to take both the tractor and the empty trailer at the same time Sepp estimates they must have been much higher than what was recorded.
He also said that as a team, he and his co-driver keep driving unless there is a road closure and he feels that’s what should have taken place there that evening.
The fact is that although driving conditions are iffy, most vehicles, other than those that are high sided, can make it through the Wreckhouse even with these high winds and that’s why the area is not shut completely.
This two kilometre stretch of road is dangerous, especially when you have winds that funnel down through the mountains at the location and create gusts that have proven over and over to be dangerous.
Most local drivers have learned when it’s time to pull over and heed the warnings. Some have been driving for decades and haven’t had an incident, simply because they heed the warnings and respect how damaging the winds can be in that area.
The fact is that the winds at Wreckhouse demand respect and truck drivers need to comply.