Winter wallop

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South Albion Street

AMHERST – Residents of the Amherst area were met with a blowing snow and wind warnings from the government’s weather office this morning. A storm that struck the region Sunday carried over to today. But considering the drama of gusting winds and decreased visibility, local outcomes were perhaps surprisingly positive.

“We’ve had a pretty quiet, uneventful day…,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Fournier, Cumberland detachment of the RCMP.

He suggested people were driving cautiously, and that they’d normally expect a couple of dozen calls on a day like today. The lone accident he reported was a loss of control on Hwy 104, with no injuries reported.

“Today is a good day,” he said.

The Amherst Police Department also reported an accident-free day.

The storm didn’t bring all business to a halt. Damaris Spa, downtown, unlocked their doors.

“We opened (at the) normal time,” said assistant manager Christine MacDonald.

The employee was also a little surprised by how few cancellations they had: One.

A safe day doesn’t mean a quiet day, not when you work for the Department of Transportation. Dave Reid, with the local depot, said all the trucks were out to try and keep roads clear – a tricky task, with blowing snow. He said you could go over the same stretch of road repeatedly trying to keep it clear. He called it a tough day.

Caution was the word of the day for schools.

“All schools in CCRSB were closed today,” said Debbie Buott-Matheson, spokesperson for the Chignecto Central Regional School Board, in a written statement.

Almost 21,000 students had the day off, she said. The decision to shut schools is made by the director of operational services, according to Buott-Matheson, after consulting with DOT and bus garages, as well as private and public weather services. The final decision comes through by 5:45 a.m.

The board has had four closures so far this season – two regional and two localized – which the spokesperson called “on par” with past years.

Twitter: @ADNsparling

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