The Avalon keeping a close eye out this winter season

Western Newfoundland was recently hit with heavy rainfall and high winds, and the metro area has taken notice.

Josh White

Residents on the west coast portion of the island were stunned in mid-January when a major weather system hit the area. Flash flooding and rainfall caused major damage, forcing some towns to declare a state of emergency.

Jackie Humber is a resident in the metro St. John’s area. She says her household is well-equipped to withstand a similar weather system.

“We’re somewhat prepared,” said Humber. “When our house was built in 2014, we are below a little hill, and outside there is a french drain and also a secondary french drain so we would be hard pressed to get some water in here. Other than that, I don’t know what else there is to prepare for.”

Jackie Humber is a resident in the St. John's-metro area.
Jackie Humber is a resident in the Metro area. She says she is confident in the outside drainage equipment by her house during a storm. Josh White/Kicker.

Weather meteorologist for NTV, Eddie Sheer says it’s a complex situation. There are a number of different factors which come into play in order for the St. John’s region to receive similar conditions.

“The Avalon would need deep snow pack, the temperature to be warm for several hours or even a day well above freezing with heavy rainfall,” said Sheer. “It’s hard to say because the climate of the Avalon is very different from the west coast.”

David Day is the manager of Emergency Preparedness for St. John’s. He says there has been a lot of ongoing work and research in order to prepare the area.

“We’ve done a fair amount of work over the past few years on studying our major waterways and looking at the flood plains,” said Day. “There’s also continuing provincial work on looking at water hydrology and the amount of rainfall to determine if any other outcomes need to be completed.”

Day has one important piece of advice for all residents in the Metro area in order to prepare for a major weather system.

“I would always drive people to a site called” he said. “The general theme for all of us as individuals is to be ready for 72 hours. When I say ready for 72 hours, that means we need to have enough food in our house, we need to have enough fuel in our vehicles and some water. As we can see in Corner Brook, you never know what mother nature is going to throw at us.”


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