Winds wreak havoc on Gros Morne area

Adam Randell
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This local service garage in Rocky Harbour was the hardest hit, as a result of last week’s storm.

The high winds and snow that whipped through the Gros Morne area last week, was about the worst Rocky Harbour mayor Walter Nicolle can recall.

The hardest hit, he said, was the service garage that had its roof and back section blown off, which, in turn, took a couple of hydro poles with it and knocked out power to the gas station and hotel.

And that created another set of problems.

“We had a bus come in off the highway, to get away from the storm, and shortly after the people checked in the power went,” Nicolle said. “They were there without power but it was better than being out there on the road for sure.”

He’s feeling a little relieved that the town property didn’t sustain damage.

In Norris Point, he said, a restaurant had its roof blown off and there was a lot of residential infrastructure damage such as shingle and siding loss.

“I was talking with people who have there own weather systems and they clocked 187 kms per hour,” he said. “I can’t recall the wind being that heavy before, it was pretty strong winds.

“It was the most damage we’ve seen for quite some time.”

According to Herb Thoms, with Environment Canada, its Rocky Harbour weather station recorded peak winds of 128 km/h.

Daniels Harbour maxed out at 124 km/h, and St. Anthony was up to 109 km/h.   

Thoms said the highest gust recorded by Environment Canada went to the Wreckhouse area, which maxed out at 170 km/h.

“This is the strongest we’ve seen things this year,” Thoms said.

Looking at the Rocky Harbour situation, Thoms said he’s thankful the winds weren’t sustained, or long lasting, winds.

“Hurricanes are sustained winds. If it had been sustained, the damage could have been a lot worse for Rocky Harbour.”

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Rocky Harbour, Norris Point, Daniels Harbour St. Anthony

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