Heavy rains and mild temperatures causing significant snowmelt is wreaking havoc in western Newfoundland today.
Both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the divided Trans-Canada Highway near Little Rapids are closed due to a major washout beneath a section of the road.
Department of Transportation and Works equipment and personnel have been dispatched to address the impassable stretch of highway.
An advisory from the RCMP stated that the damage is being assessed and motorists should obviously expect to be delayed in the area.
Motorists are also being advised to stay off other sections of highway in western Newfoundland, including Route 450 on the south shore of the Bay of Islands due to heavy flooding.
A home in Benoit’s Cove has been submerged in rising water in the brook that runs through the community.
A landslide on Route 450 between Halfway Point and Benoit’s Cove temporarily shut down the highway to traffic.
Heavy flooding and debris slides are reported on Route 431 in Gros Morne National Park. A landslide has shut down the highway in the Glenburnie area.
Early Saturday afternoon, the RCMP issued another advisory. This one reported heavy flooding on Route 430 in the Big Bonne Bay Pond and Jack Ladder area. The highway was still open, but there is a fear it could wash out at any time.
Police advised motorists on the west coast to avoid this area if possible as conditions could deteriorate rapidly.
A portion of Route 460, namely from Gull Pond to Stephenville, is closed because of flooding and motorists are being diverted to Stephenville Crossing.
In Corner Brook, a section of O’Connell Drive had to be shut down because of heavy runoff coming downhill from Boone’s Road. A temporary berm has been constructed in the middle of O’Connell Drive to divert the rushing flow of water.
In downtown Corner Brook, the city has closed the Main Street bridge to all traffic because of the dangerously high waters of the Corner Brook Stream and the nearby tributary of Bell’s Brook.
The City of Corner Brook has also closed down Maple Valley Road in the east end and Woodbine Avenue in the Curing area because of flooding issues and necessary road maintenance.
The heavy rains that began Friday are expected to continue with another 30 to 40 millimetres expected to fall throughout the day, even more in higher terrain. The steady temperature of 11 C will also contribute to further snowmelt.
Winds are also expected to pick up to reach 60 kilometres per hour, with gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour and up to 100 kilometres per hour along parts of the coast.
***This story was updated at 1:12 p.m. 13-01-2018