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Massive blizzard in Churchill, Manitoba

Canadian town declares emergency after 57-hour blizzard


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 12:01 PM - Fifty seven hours is a long time to deal with any kind of severe weather, let alone a blizzard.

The town of Churchill, Man., on the shores of Hudson Bay, experienced a blizzard of that length -- four hours shy of the longest-ever blizzard recorded there -- over the past few days. The storm that produced it featured winds up to 120 km/h and, when it was over, dropped some 60 cm on the small community of fewer than a thousand people.

Late Friday, Churchill declared an official state of emergency as it faces a difficult cleanup.

"It is evident there is significant clean-up work to be done that will impact the town's existing resources to complete this work and bring the community back to a state of normalcy," read the declaration, which was posted to Facebook.

For a snow storm to qualify as a blizzard, it must include winds of at least 40 km/h, lasting for at least four hours, bringing visibility down to 400 metres or less. The mammoth storm included extended periods of zero visibility.

The storm all-but shut down the town, including businesses and services. CBC News reports a snowbank cut off access to the town's health clinic, though the main hospital, which shares a building with the clinic, was not affected.

"It's been challenging. The community has responded very well," Churchill Mayor Mike Spence told the broadcaster.

SOURCE: CBC News

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