Newfoundland asks for military help after record blizzard

Newfoundland’s premier asked for the Canadian military’s help Saturday as residents of the province’s capital struggled to tunnel out from homes buried by the heaviest snowfall ever recorded in St. John’s.

Premier Dwight Ball said he had asked for the federal government’s assistance, including mobilizing the armed forces, after the blizzard battered eastern Newfoundland.

Rob Carroll, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said St. John’s had experienced a one-day snowfall of 76.2 centimeters (30 inches), breaking the previous record of 68.4 centimeters (27 inches) on April 5, 1999.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, said search teams were looking for 26-year-old Joshua Wall, who remained missing after leaving his home in Roaches Line, a small community about 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of the capital, to walk to a friend’s home.

St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said he has lived in the city most of his life and has never seen a storm of this magnitude.

“I’ve never seen the combination of the amount of snow, the rate of snowfall and the wind speed that we’ve had here over the past couple of days,” Breen said.

Winds at the St. John’s International Airport were recorded at between 120 and 157 kph (75 and 98 mph) at the height of the storm.

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