Natural Resources

Avalanches

Date: January 26 2004

Location:St Anthony

Easting: 599400

Northing: 5691500

Latitude: 51° 22' N

Longitude: 56° 6' W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: Northern Pen, February 2, 2004, telephone interview

The Northern Pen of February 2 reported the effects of a major snowstorm that struck southern Labrador and the Northern Peninsula on the night of January 25-26th. 30 cm + of snow fell with winds of up to 130 km/hour.

The Northern Pen reported:- "Jeremy Rumboldt was jolted from his slumber on Monday morning by a loud bang. When he awoke, the 13 year-old St. Anthony youth noticed that the wall in his bedroom had a large bow. 'I didn't know what had happened at first' he said. 'We couldn't get out to see what was giong on because of the storm'. It was later determined that snow from a hill overlooking the Rumboldt home on Johnson's Road had moved a swing set made of 6-by-six timber and pushed it against the side of the house. Jeremy's father, Carl, a truck driver who was stranded in Hawkes Bay during the ordeal, had difficulty believing the force behind the snow. 'We've never seen snow slide down the hilll like that' he explained. 'There must have been some pressure from the snow for the swing set to push against the house like that'. Mr Rumboldt said he'll be exploring his options because the safety of his family and home has been compromised. ''If it were a larger snowslide it could have driven the side of the home in, or it could have struck the chimney and caused a fire'.

Climate data from St. Anthony shows winds increasing before midnight on the 25th, then blowing from almost due north at between 50 and 80 kph for the next 12 hours. Detailed snowfall data is not available.

Johnson Road is on the north side of St. Anthony Harbour. The house likely lies less than 15 metres from the foot of a 45 degree slope, approximately 25-30 m high. The slope faces south-west and would be prone to loading from northerly winds. Mr Rumboldt when interviewed indicated that a previous avalanche had struck a neighbour's house, damaging the patio doors and filling the living room with snow.

Carl Rumboldt indicates the damage to his house (photograph used with permission of the Northen Pen)

 
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