Revisiting how St. John's began 2020, see the snowstorm that engulfed the city

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This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.

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On Friday, January 17, 2020, St. John’s went from looking like the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador in the winter to looking like the inside of a freezer that hasn’t been defrosted in hundreds of years.

A new all-time daily snowfall record was set with 76.2 cm of snowfall, beating the previous record of 68.4 cm from April 5, 1999. St. John’s Airport recorded 166 cm recorded.

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The city transformed into one big snow/ice block. St. John’s was under a state of emergency for eight days, meaning all businesses were closed and cars weren’t allowed on the roads.

There were widespread power outages and the storm even triggered an avalanche.

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On Sunday, January 19, the Canadian Armed Forces sent troops to Newfoundland to help with recovery.

Record-breaking stats aside, this storm can not be captured in numbers, the images and tweets that came in over the storm are legitimately unbelievable.

The Weather Network’s Chris Murphy appeared on CBC to report on the storm and hurricane-level winds. Luckily, he made it to the end of the interview before getting blown over. Chris said he had never felt any wind like that, adding “This is worse than Hurricane Dorian and I was there in Nova Scotia covering it.”

Watch @MurphTWN’s full report about the situation on the ground in St. John’s pic.twitter.com/L0NwopB7zC

Watch Power & Politics on Twitter: “Watch @MurphTWN’s full report about the situation on the ground in St. John’s pic.twitter.com/L0NwopB7zC / Twitter”’s full report about the situation on the ground in St. John’s Power & Politics on Twitter: “Watch @MurphTWN’s full report about the situation on the ground in St. John’s pic.twitter.com/L0NwopB7zC / Twitter”

— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) Power & Politics on Twitter: “Watch @MurphTWN’s full report about the situation on the ground in St. John’s pic.twitter.com/L0NwopB7zC / Twitter”

For those who thought he was being dramatic, this is Murphy’s rental car. Considering he travelled to St. John’s to cover a storm, we assume he got the insurance?

Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. @weathernetwork #nlwx pic.twitter.com/nwnbefByvY

Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: “Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. @weathernetwork #nlwx pic.twitter.com/nwnbefByvY / Twitter” Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: “Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. @weathernetwork #nlwx pic.twitter.com/nwnbefByvY / Twitter” Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: “Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. @weathernetwork #nlwx pic.twitter.com/nwnbefByvY / Twitter”

— Chris Murphy TWN (@MurphTWN) Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: “Found our rental car. No joke, ours is the one closest to lens, the tiny sliver of chrome…Yep. Lots of people in the same boat. State of Emergency continues. @weathernetwork #nlwx pic.twitter.com/nwnbefByvY / Twitter”

He wasn’t the only one with car obstacles. A St. John’s man must have been confused when he opened his white garage door and saw what appeared to be another white garage door.

Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0

Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter” David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter” David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter” David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter” David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter” David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter”

— David Mo (@Davidcfmo) David Mo on Twitter: “Mildly claustrophobic this morning. Otherwise, slushie anyone? #snowmaggedon2020 #nlblizzard2020 #blizzard2020 #nlwx #NLblizzard pic.twitter.com/8uoSQZGZG0 / Twitter”

Cars looked more like futuristic archaeological discoveries than functional transportation.

Current status. #nlwx pic.twitter.com/AD28xNHnKn

Current status. Tom Baird on Twitter: “Current status. #nlwx pic.twitter.com/AD28xNHnKn / Twitter” Tom Baird on Twitter: “Current status. #nlwx pic.twitter.com/AD28xNHnKn / Twitter”

— Tom Baird (@BairdTom) Tom Baird on Twitter: “Current status. #nlwx pic.twitter.com/AD28xNHnKn / Twitter”

Pretty much the same thing with houses. This is likely where Canadians get a reputation for living in igloos.

Somewhere under all this is a row of cars and front doors. This is going to take a while. pic.twitter.com/RGmIeaJfsf

Somewhere under all this is a row of cars and front doors. This is going to take a while. Bob Hallett on Twitter: “Somewhere under all this is a row of cars and front doors. This is going to take a while. pic.twitter.com/RGmIeaJfsf / Twitter”

— Bob Hallett (@bobhallett) Bob Hallett on Twitter: “Somewhere under all this is a row of cars and front doors. This is going to take a while. pic.twitter.com/RGmIeaJfsf / Twitter”

A view from inside.

All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E

All we can do now is hibernate! Kim Porter on Twitter: “All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E / Twitter” Kim Porter on Twitter: “All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E / Twitter” Kim Porter on Twitter: “All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E / Twitter” Kim Porter on Twitter: “All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E / Twitter”

— Kim Porter (@ElijahPorterMom) Kim Porter on Twitter: “All we can do now is hibernate! #nlwx #stormageddon2020 #nlblizzard2020 pic.twitter.com/Ad3I8Oqh0E / Twitter”

Another view from inside, because going outside literally couldn’t be a thing.

climate change is real

climate change is real

— Sam Rose Artist (@art_colored) Sam Rose Artist on Twitter: “climate change is real / Twitter”

Unfortunately, for one home, the outside avalanched its way inside. No one was hurt.

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/oneillyatescbc/status/1218329543766880258?s=20

And that’s how St. John’s started 2020. To hear more about this storm, listen to today’s episode of “This Day In Weather History.”

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