VIDEO: Lineups outside grocery stores in St. John’s as state of emergency continues

A snowstorm on Friday dropped a whopping 76 centimetres

Residents of St. John’s, N.L., were lining up for food today as supermarkets opened for the first time since last week’s massive blizzard to allow people to restock supplies.

The lineup at one Sobey’s store stretched around the parking lot and out into the street by the time doors opened at 10 a.m.

The city had advised people to buy enough food to last 48 hours, but some turned away at the sight of the long line.

Within 20 minutes of opening, there was little room to move inside the store as people filled carts with essential foods and household items, leaving some shelves nearly bare.

The store openings occurred on the fifth day of a state of emergency in the capital as cleanup continued from a storm Friday that brought 76 centimetres of snow to the area.

Hundreds of Armed Forces personnel have been brought in to help in the effort, and more are expected today.

One resident, Doris Squires, said she and her husband walked down early with a plan to beat the crowd, but they arrived to find others had the same idea.

“I’m surprised, actually,” Squires said. “But we are running out of things, and they’re telling us to get stuff now for 48 hours.”

She said she understands the snow-clearing process is long, and she was looking forward to a restocked kitchen Tuesday night.

“I’m going to put on a pot of fresh meat soup, if I can get some fresh meat,” she said.

Inside the store, Margaret Connors was co-ordinating with neighbours to buy milk and other essentials for neighbours who couldn’t get out.

“We’re just combining forces to help out people on our street,” Connors said.

She had picked up a carton of milk for a mother who needed to stock up for her kids.

“I think everybody was surprised at all of this, but I think people are pulling together,” she said.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says about 450 troops — including some 175 reservists — will be in Newfoundland today to help the province dig out from the storm.

Travel remains difficult across eastern Newfoundland, and St. John’s International Airport will not reopen for commercial flights before Wednesday.

READ MORE: State of emergency in St. John’s reaches Day 5 after massive blizzard

The City of St. John’s eased its state of emergency to allow some stores to reopen to sell “basic foods.” Most other businesses have to remain closed, with exceptions for gas stations and some pharmacies.

Search efforts will also continue for 26-year-old Joshua Wall, who was last seen leaving his home in Roaches Line during Friday’s blizzard to walk through a wooded area to a friend’s home in nearby Marysvale.

Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

UPDATED: Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

Adam Olsen, MLA, says issue should be taken to province, not communities

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

NDP’s Carole James says problem is across the country

Most Read