By Jaymie L. White
Special to the Appalachian
WEST COAST — Newfoundland and Labrador is seeing record-breaking rainfall across the majority of the province which is resulting in flooding, washouts, road closures, and system overloads. On Feb. 18, the RCMP issued a release that said there are treacherous road conditions in certain areas.
“Rain and winds are creating treacherous conditions on roadways. Motorists are asked to exercise caution. Corner Brook RCMP and the Department of Transportation are currently on scene on the TCH by George’s Brook. The highway at that location is currently flooded and one vehicle needing assistance. Other road wash out areas that the Dept of Transportation has listed as areas of concern are Route 460 near Noels Pond, Route 460 near Felix Cove and Route 462 at Point au Mal.”
The Trans-Canada Highway between Corner Brook and Stephenville is currently closed due to flooding in the area with delays of 12 hours expected.
Town’s that were hit particularly hard by the rain and wind conditions issued public statements on their social media pages, informing residents of areas of concern. The Town of Stephenville Crossing said the following:
“We are experiencing excessive amounts of rainfall that is overwhelming our systems. While we can’t control nature and are monitoring as best we can, we are asking residents to refrain from using water as much as possible. Saving the laundry until the water has time to subside will help with an already overloaded drainage system.”
The Town of St. George’s, which is currently suffering a severe washout at Cutlers Hill, said the following:
"Due to the excessive amounts of water from the rain the town’s sewer system is overwhelmed and can’t handle the water flow. Flooding is being reported in most areas of town. Water and high winds are causing damage to property. Please have any items that are around your property is secured. Emergency supplies like flashlights, batteries, and water are always good items to have on hand. Public works employees are working to ensure that culverts and storm drains are free of snow and debris, please be careful walking around town as some areas may be icy and dangerous. Due to the flooding at Cutlers Hill, that area of Main Street is closed to the public, we will have an emergency route opened up along the railway bed for emergency vehicles only. Please stay safe and your patience is appreciated.”
St. George’s Mayor, Danny Conway, said there are workers on site waiting for the weather to clear to begin repairs as soon as 8:00 a.m. on Feb. 19.
“It’s just the pavement hanging in the air now with about a 20-foot washout right across that’s gone down in the river now, it bypassed the culverts and took out the road. We have a lot of people with their basements flooded, our sewer system is overwhelmed as well, it’s not able to handle the amount of water that it’s receiving. In my ten years on council, I’ve never seen flooding like this.”
A statement was also issued on behalf of the Lourdes Regional Fire Department:
“We are aware that there are road closures in our area but if you have an emergency, please don’t hesitate to call 911. The fire truck will still be able to reach houses and for those that cannot be reached we do have firefighters in most communities who will still be able to help, and we will call for assistance from the Cape Fire Department or Port au
Port Fire Department if needed.”
The weather warnings for rainfall and wind are still in effect across the province with a flash freeze expected. People are asked to use caution as standing water from the rainfall and snow melt will quickly freeze as temperatures drop causing slippery highways, roads, and walkways.
Videos of flooding are available on our Youtube channel HERE.