Code Black for the Little White Juan

For the first time in history, the entire province of Nova Scotia has been placed under a state of emergency today, and that’s because of what some are calling “Little White Juan.”

Yup, we’ve just been hit by one heck of a blizzard. A record has been broken for snowfall in a 24-hour period in Halifax: 80 centimetres,* or for those of you still more used to the Imperial system, 2 feet and 8 inches. By the time I went to bed around 6 o’clock this morning, about 10 inches had fallen already and visibility was nil. That, in fact, is what distinguishes a blizzard from an “ordinary” snowstorm: the amount of snow is more copious, but the wind is much stronger, too (with gusts in the 70 to 100 km/h range), which blows all that snow around.

I consider myself lucky, though. I’m not among the thousands in Metro Halifax without power tonight. And imagine the poor power crews! They can’t get anywhere because practically no street has been ploughed yet. There was no point in ploughing while the storm was at its height.

Understand, though, that because I was born and raised in Moncton, NB — the uncontested Snow Capital of the Maritimes — I’ve already seen such huge dumps of snow in a single day. Normally Halifax is different, though. It seldom gets as much snow at once, and often snow turns to rain after a while, making another kind of unholy mess in its own right. But this time the downfall stayed snow. And since all the highways into the city — in fact, the province — are blocked, the state of emergency remains in effect for tomorrow so that clean up can begin without people and drivers obstructing the massive task at hand.

* The final tally is 95 cm (about 3 feet), shattering the record of 52 cm in a single day in Halifax set back in 1944.

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In response to my previous post, Stephanie and kirsten asked how I managed to stay warm when the furnace ran out of oil and it was -18C outside. Well, simple, really: I threw a few extra blankets on the bed, dusted off and plugged in the little electric spot heater I happen to have laying around the apartment, and closed my bedroom door. I mean, it wasn’t AS warm as usual when I got up, but it certainly was better than in the rest of the apartment. I’m not sure how cold it got, but let’s just say that sitting on the throne wasn’t exactly pleasant until my bum warmed up the seat. ;-P}

{2} Thoughts on “Code Black for the Little White Juan

  1. A blizzard! Yikes! I was wondering why ye old harbour cam was solid white. Stay warm, take care and sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he’s okay and you get to go to Moncton.

  2. Actually, right now it’s sunny, so I wonder if the harbour cam got blown away or buried. Everything’s closed today as the city digs out. Pretty impressive dump!

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