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Most violent storm since 2007 lashes Nunavut's capital

Iqaluit: Before and during (Twitter image: @tattuinee)

Iqaluit: Before and during (Twitter image: @tattuinee)

Digital writers

Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 8:28 AM -

Widespread blizzard warnings were issued across Nunavut on Tuesday as the northern territory braced for what Environment Canada said could be "its worst storm in years."

Strong winds and blizzard conditions ripped through the area, causing significant damage in some places.

"Chunks of roof are flying off a building nearby," tweeted Joey Flowers in Iqaluit. "Suddenly my non-rocking chair is a rocking chair."

Sustained winds of 111 km/h were reported with gusts up to 141 km/h.

"Just went from crystal clear to a white out in Apex in a split second. Pretty remarkable sight in my window," Aaron Watson tweeted.

Many schools were closed Wednesday morning and city vehicles in Iqaluit were pulled off the road. 

Some customers remained without power although crews worked to make significant progress.

"This storm's peak gust of 141 km/h has surpassed the February 4-5 2007 storm that produced wind gusts to 135 km/h and caused significant wind damage in town, including severe roof damage to several buildings," said Environment Canada in their statement early Wednesday. "The powerful winds combined with falling snow will lead to whiteout conditions with frequent near zero visibilities."

Winds are expected to gradually drop off a bit around noon on Wednesday, but blowing snow and poor visibility will continue.

"There will be a bit of a break this afternoon and evening however moderate northwest winds return overnight with blowing snow into Thursday," EC adds.

Blizzard warnings remain in place for Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq, Clyde River and Hall Beach. A wind chill warning is also in place for Igloolik with wind chill values near -56 expected.

Due to its Arctic location, the territory is no stranger to blizzards.

In November last year, newly elected MLAs were sworn in amid a blizzard warning.

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