Twenty-year-old Kristin Bumstead knows a thing or two about snow, or so she thought.
Bumstead is used to squalls off Georgian Bay dropping copious amounts of snow in her hometown of Midland, and two years in St. John’s at Memorial University of Newfoundland, snowstorms and strong winds were just part of winter in that city.
That was until a few days ago when a massive blizzard with hurricane-strength winds paralyzed St. John’s and most of eastern Newfoundland.
Those squalls are pussycats compared to what she has experienced.
“There is absolutely no comparison,” says Bumstead. “I can’t even see out of my window. There is six feet of snow in my backyard.”
Bumstead shares the house with a roommate and lives in a residential neigbhourhood that has many students who attend Memorial University.
She says the snowdrifts are unparalleled.
“There is access to our front door but eight feet of snow built out past our driveway. There is such a narrow pathway that only one vehicle can go down the road at a time.”
The dumping of snow has brought together people and Bumstead says there has been a lot of camaraderie where she lives.
“All the neighbours have been getting together and collectively shovelling out everyone’s driveways to get a head start on things,” says Bumstead.
She and her roommate are prepared for the long haul.
“The roads are just not built to deal with all this snow. There is nowhere to put it. The clean up of the city will take a significant time.”
Bumstead says an awning on the porch prevented drifts from blocking the front door of the house. The exit to the backyard is blocked by mounds of snow, which she says is concerning if there is an emergency. She says the backyard fence is six feet high and the snow has piled over it.
Many smaller vehicles in her neighbourhood are still buried under snow.
Day four of the state of emergency in St. John’s has meant not only are schools closed but so are all businesses including grocery stores. Bumstead says she has plenty of canned goods. There is one worry.
“I am getting low on coffee and coffee creamer.”
banner image via Kristin Bumstead