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Halifax’s first winter storm of the season closes schools, delays public transit

More than 30 centimetres of snow blankets city

3 min read
caption Shool-aged kids take advantage of the snow day by sledding at Gorsebrook Park on Thursday afternoon.
Hillary MacInnis

It’s sledding time, Halifax.

A winter storm that started Wednesday night lasting until Thursday morning hit Halifax hard, with snowfall totals measured up to 38 cm.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the province Wednesday, calling for up to 20 cm of snow overnight.

The storm caused school closures and delayed operation of public transit. Halifax Regional Centre for Education schools and central offices were closed.

Dalhousie University, all Nova Scotia Community College campuses and Mount Saint Vincent were all closed for Thursday. Saint Mary’s University had a delayed opening at noon.

Some children in Halifax took advantage of the sunny snow day by sledding in Gorsebrook Park.

caption Lindsay Umlah and her family on Thursday afternoon in Gorsebrook Park.
Hillary MacInnis

Lindsay Umlah took her daughters Alexis and Fallon sledding Thursday afternoon.

Fallon says sledding is her favourite part about winter.

“It looks like Christmas,” Fallon said.

caption Sybil Shore and her dog, Sasha, enjoy a morning walk in the snow on Thursday morning.
Hillary MacInnis

Despite the heavy snowfall Thursday morning, Sybil Shore walked her dog, Sasha. Shore walks Sasha every morning, rain, snow or shine.

Shore loved the snow as a little girl. “As I get older, I don’t enjoy it. It’s nice when it first falls, but I don’t like it anymore,” she said.

Halifax delayed operations

Halifax Transit delayed all bus, ferry and Access-a-Bus service until noon.

Municipal and provincial offices delayed opening until noon.

All curbside collection of garbage, organics, and recyclables scheduled for Thursday was cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday.

The Halifax Public Gardens were closed, and the Halifax Public Library delayed opening until 2 p.m. Thursday. Many recreation centres had a delayed opening, and registration for the municipality’s aquatics and skating winter programs was delayed until 2 p.m.

Ahead of the storm, HRM and the province worked with community-based agencies to provide temporary emergency shelters for occupants of homeless encampments.

An emergency shelter opened Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Halifax, providing people at the shelter with comfort kits, food, and a shower. The emergency shelter closed at 8 a.m., when occupants were moved to a comfort centre, which was to remain open until 9 p.m. Thursday.

According to the municipality, ground search and rescue teams visited all locations where the HRM was aware of homeless encampments to offer transportation to the emergency and comfort centres.

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