The Cape Breton Regional Municipality declared a Local State of Emergency after some spots received upwards of 150 centimetres of snow, but Premier Tim Houston questioned the effectiveness of such a move on Monday.
“The state of emergency triggers certain things but what it does not do is speed up access to equipment,” Houston said at a news conference. “What’s the state of emergency being used for? If you’re not doing anything with it, why are you doing it? This is a stressful time for everyone and I think elected officials have a responsibility to calm fears and anxieties and not stoke them.”
In a news release, the CBRM directed residents to shelter in place and clear snow from the entryways and walkways at their homes. Police told people to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and the release noted any vehicles that obstruct snow removal will be ticketed and towed.
Amanda MacDougall, Cape Breton mayor, said they are seeking help from mainland Nova Scotia to tackle the snow problem.
“We need trucks,” she said. “We don’t have the infrastructure municipally to do the clean-up ourselves. We also know there’s going to be a need to help people recover from this. Roofs are going to come in and damage to property is going to take place.”
Houston said the province has reached out to the federal government for heavy equipment.
The municipality noted city hall and municipal services will be closed Monday. Transit Cape Breton will also not be operational.
Resident Pam Leader said her landlord told her it will be days before she’s shovelled out.
“The front door is completely blocked,” she said. “The snow came from the roof and it’s just sitting there.”
In a news release, Elections PEI said the ordinary polling day for the District 19 byelection was postponed Monday due to the storm. It will instead happen from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We want voters to exercise their right to vote, but in a safe manner,” said Tim Garrity, CEO of Elections PEI, in the release. “We also keep in mind the safety of our election workers.”
Cars buried in the snow in Charlottetown (Jack Morse/CTV News Atlantic)
According to Environment Canada, blowing snow advisories were in still effect for Kent County, Kouchibouguac National Park, and Moncton in New Brunswick on Monday.
Nova Scotia Power’s outage map reported 167 outages impacting 1,540 customers as of 4:15 p.m. Monday while Maritime Electric noted 79 customers in the dark in Prince Edward Island.
NB Power only reported 19 customers without power.
Health PEI said surgeries, procedures and clinics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were cancelled Monday, while the administrative office in Charlottetown was closed. The Kinlock Medical Home was also closed.
The City of Charlottetown said in a social media post city hall and administrative offices would be closed Monday. The provincial P.E.I. government also noted civil services would be closed for the day. Several community mental health and addictions services were closed as well.
Nova Scotia provincial government offices in Pictou, Antigonish, Inverness, Guysborough, Victoria and Richmond counties, along with offices in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality were closed Monday.
Airports in Halifax, Moncton and Charlottetown advised passengers to check with airlines about the status of their flights.
The Kings Transit Authority, which services the Kings, Annapolis and Digby counties, announced it would be closed on Monday.
Marine Atlantic said the 11:45 a.m. ferry trips between Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., were cancelled.
Nova Scotia courthouses in Pictou, Antigonish, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney were closed Monday. The Shubenacadie Provincial Court delayed its opening until noon and the Kentville and Windsor provincial courts postponed matters until 11 a.m.
Canada Post has issued delivery service alerts for the Maritimes, due to the weather.
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia were under a red service alert, which meant delivery was suspended for the day. All P.E.I. post offices were also closed for the day.
New Brunswick was under a yellow service alert. Canada Post says that means the postal service will do its best to complete deliveries, but there may be delays.
The Halifax Regional Municipality extended its overnight winter parking ban in both Zone 1 — Central and Zone 2 — Non-Central for Tuesday from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Vehicles are not allowed to park on municipal streets during the hours of the ban.
Check out photos on snowfall across Atlantic Canada here.