New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A storm in southwestern Newfoundland delivered record-breaking rainfall

Key takeaways:

  • Rain warnings have been cancelled for much of southwestern Newfoundland.
  • Rainfall totals in the northern Codroy Valley were significantly higher: 195.6 mm.

The rain warnings that had been in effect for much of southwestern Newfoundland have now been lifted, thanks to a big storm that left record-breaking rainfall totals and devastation in its wake.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Rodney Barney, the town of Channel-Port aux Basques has received just over 165 millimeters of rain since Tuesday, setting records for the highest 24-hour rainfall total and highest two-day rainfall amount.

Rainfall totals in the northern Codroy Valley were significantly higher: 195.6 mm.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a chopper rescued two individuals from a location near South Branch known as Over Falls. The two campers became stuck after water levels rose, according to an RCMP official. According to police, they requested assistance shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

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The Barachois Ground Search and Rescue Team and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) were dispatched to locate the couple and their dog. Still, rescuers were unable to identify them due to weather and road washout. They were rescued by a Cougar helicopter shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to police.

The Trans-Canada Highway and highways from the Port aux Basques area north through the Codroy Valley have been plagued by washouts and lane closures.

While the area will see a rainy, showery day with low winds, the rain warning has been lifted, and circumstances will be more favorable for cleanup work in storm-affected communities, according to Barney.

Because of road washouts, the storm also cut the Port aux Basques area off the rest of the island, leaving some people who reside in peripheral locations but work in the village stuck. As a safety measure, some detours have been established within the community.

Record-breaking rainfall from southwestern Newfoundland storm

The aftereffects

Premier Andrew Furey said on Wednesday that the hurricane had cut off about 5,000 residents from the rest of the island. The government has planned helicopter services in an emergency, but there was no timetable for road repairs.

The Trans-Canada Highway, which connects the town — and supply chains from ferries — to the rest of the island, is the source of most of the damage and significant worries, according to Port aux Basques Mayor Brian Button.

“We’re currently cut off. We’ve got four significant washouts out there right now, so we’re worried. “On Thursday, Button told CBC Radio’s Newfoundland Morning.

“Because of the weather, officials have been unable to visit the site and assess the situation to determine what has to be done. Because of the huge rains we’ve had and the still-flowing water, it wasn’t safe to do so, and they haven’t been able to get the personnel there.”

Since the storm hit, Button said he’s been in touch with the province’s Department of Transportation every three or four hours. Crews should be able to examine the washouts as daylight breaks, he added, and he hopes to have a better idea of the extent of the damage later on Thursday.

He stated his town’s emergency measures are in place and that the situation is “fully under control.” He is urging residents to limit their purchasing to only essential products.

“There will be some supply concerns,” he predicted.

Because of the considerable damage throughout the area, Transportation Minister Elvis Loveless predicted that road repairs could take a week. According to him, the minister traveled into Deer Lake on the island’s west coast to obtain a better understanding of the situation. Contractors will be on the ground on Thursday, he said.

“There may be unknowns that we’re not aware of till you get to places and start working,” he remarked Thursday morning.

“However, there is currently a week’s worth of work in terms of restoring operations and getting roads open. A week.”

Source: CBC News

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