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A City of Summerside snowplow drives through a snowdrift after this week's storms hit the Island.
©MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA
Islanders will have time to catch their breath after two major weather systems hit Prince Edward Island this week.
Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby said for now the current weather system will last into Thursday night and weaken as the week progresses.
“As of 2 p.m. the western part of the Island was seeing northerly winds reaching 70 kilometres,” said Libby.
“We’re still seeing precipitation because the low pressure system isn’t moving particularly quickly.
“ And because it’s moving slowly we could potentially see another 5 cm to 15 cm to come yet.
“Thursday’s system will weaken but there will still be flurries and they’ll be persistent,” she added.
“Right now, the centre of the storm is approaching the east end of the Island, while the other two counties have experienced snow and blowing snow. Conditions are not good in Queens and Prince County.
“We’ll experience the strongest winds this evening, ranging anywhere from 50 kilometres to 90 kilometres-per-hour and visibility will continue to be poor.”
As for what’s to come, Libby says there is are two small disturbances visible coming for Sunday moving into Monday and then later on in the week. We’ve got a pretty quiet week coming, fingers crossed. We’re also seeing a second system coming for next Thursday, but right now it looks like a weak one. But it is important to keep in mind that even a little thing can change the long-term forecast.”
In early hours of Thursday, Summerside plows fought against the wind, said Lorri Laughlin, the City’s director of communications.
“Plows were out this morning, but the winds would just create new drifts as they went along. When the wind dies down, we’ll send out more to start a larger cleanup, but for now they’re making the roads passable for the police, fire department and paramedics.
“The snow that they are moving doesn’t stay there because of the wind, it’s like it immediately fills in behind them,” Laughlin explained.
Plows aren’t expected to get working on sidewalks until tonight, with main roads first and then working on parking lots after that.
“A positive that’s come out of this at least is knowing that our electrical system is holding up great. We haven’t had any power outages.”
For Const. Jon Russell of the East Prince RCMP it’s been a day of advising Islanders not to take to the roads unless absolutely necessary.
“If you have to go out on the roads in this weather just drive with extreme caution,” he said.
“We’ve had a low call volume today because of the weather and for our own safety we’re not going out much unless we get a call,” he added.
“Generally, there is poor visibility and heavy drifts across the Island, with conditions poor in Prince County and very poor in West Prince with roads slippery in some spots.”
Russell recommends drivers proceed slowly and be aware that in the whiteouts there may be another car on the other side.
“Put your four-way flashers on, they’ll illuminate your car a bit better especially in the day time, and don’t just drive with your driving lights on out your headlights on too. They’re brighter and it will allow others to see your vehicle better.”