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Nova Scotia digging out after historic snowfall

A pedestrian makes their way through blowing snow as a winter storm hit Halifax on Sunday. People in the province are digging out after a historic multi-day snowfall. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A pedestrian makes their way through blowing snow as a winter storm hit Halifax on Sunday. People in the province are digging out after a historic multi-day snowfall. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press - image credit)

People in Nova Scotia are digging out after a historic multi-day snowfall slammed the province, with many schools across the province closed Monday and Cape Breton Regional Municipality under a local state of emergency.

Parts of the island had received more than 80 centimetres by Sunday evening, prompting officials to ask residents to stay off the roads.

CBRM mayor Amanda McDougall said the seven-day state of emergency gives the municipality the authority to control or prohibit travel and to authorize qualified persons to provide aid.

"So it gives us a bit of authority to go above what we're able to do regularly," said McDougall on Sunday.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snodden said many in the province are calling to mind a February 2004 storm dubbed by locals as "White Juan," a nor'easter blizzard that dropped more than 100 centimetres of snow on some areas of Atlantic Canada — five months after Hurricane Juan caused widespread damage in the Maritimes.

"It's safe to say this is the most historic winter storm to hit Nova Scotia since White Juan in 2004," said Snodden.

He said depending on final official numbers, this may be the largest multi-day snowfall event for the Sydney area since Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 1992, when 102 centimetres fell at Sydney Airport.

All Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education and Strait Regional Centre for Education schools and worksites are closed Monday. Halifax Regional School Board has also closed all of its schools while Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the province's French school board, has closed some of its schools.

Many flights at Halifax Stanfield International Airport are cancelled. Marine Atlantic has also cancelled some of its crossings from North Sydney to Port aux Basques, N.L.

School closures

The following schools and school boards are closed Monday.

  • Halifax Regional Centre for Education

  • Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education

  • Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education

  • South Shore Regional Centre for Education

  • Strait Regional Centre for Education

  • Digby schools in the Tri-County Regional Centre for Education are closed. Schools in Shelbrune and Yarmouth are open.

  • Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education

  • École des Beaux-Marais

  • École Bois-Joli

  • École du Carrefour

  • École secondaire Mosaïque

  • École du Grand-Portage

  • École Beaubassin

  • École secondaire du Sommet

  • École Mer et Monde

  • École acadienne de Truro

  • École acadienne de Pomquet

  • École Beau-Port

  • École NDA

  • École de Torbé

  • Centre scolaire Étoile de l'Acadie