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County residents recover from extreme weather

By Katie Coleman

BELLEVILLE – Prince Edward County is recovering after dangerous winter weather struck Monday and Tuesday.

County Road 33 between County Roads 1 and 19 was closed because of whiteout conditions on Tuesday. The conditions were so poor that snowplows were called off that stretch of road. All school buses in the county were cancelled, as garbage collection.

A lot of county residents also experienced power outages that lasted up to two days. This week’s crazy weather was the latest of several blasts of winter in the county.

Susan Little, who owns Saylor House Café and Gift Shop in downtown Bloomfield, says she’s had a hard time with the weather conditions so far this winter.

“We were 46 hours without power, which means no fridges, no freezers, no furnaces, no heat,” said Little. “I had to take food out of the fridges and freezers and put them in bins and put them out in the snow so they wouldn’t go bad. There was still spoilage.”

Saylor House is open seven days a week but had to close on Monday and Tuesday.

“The roads were so bad and the visibility was so bad. It was dangerous. It just wasn’t worth it,” Little said.

The Glenora Ferry, which makes runs from Prince Edward County to the mainland of Lennox and Addington County, usually has 15-minute round trips. For periods on Monday and Tuesday round trips were taking upwards of 50 minutes, ferry supervisor Dave Tugwood said on Wednesday.

“It has been very challenging for the guys out there to keep the schedule. We’ve had some power outages plus the ice conditions,” Tugwood said. “We remained in service for the most part but off schedule.”

While the weather has mostly cleared in the county, the cleanup still remains. Downed branches are scattered across properties, and some roads were slick on Wednesday. County officials said Wednesday that works crews are doing their best to clear branches and debris from public property, but added that cleanup on private property is the responsibility of the owner. Brush and branches can be taken to county landfills for disposal free of charge.

It’s still early in the winter, and Little, of Saylor House Café, said she fears there are more dangerous conditions to come.
“I’m thinking it’s not over. My theory is Old Man Winter and Mother Nature are having a squabble and we’re the fallout.”