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Halifax under curfew
February 20, 2004 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Halifax under curfew. The Globe and Mail and the CBC are reporting that the Province of Nova Scotia has placed Halifax, Canada, under a curfew tonight. The city has taken this unprecedented peacetime action to allow the snow plows to deal with the 100cm (~50 inches) of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. Anyone caught on the streets between 11pm and 7am faces a CDN$1000 fine.
posted by tiamat (35 comments total)

 
So Toronto isn't the only city that declares martial law when it snows.
posted by Dasein at 5:27 PM on February 20, 2004


"Four of the 10 Nova Scotians live in the regional municipality, and the residents are just not realizing the seriousness of the situation," Mr. O'Brien said.

At least a lot of people aren't being affected.
posted by Snyder at 5:44 PM on February 20, 2004


Snyder: That's what the G&M says, but it should read 4 OUT of 10. The population of Halifax is about 150,000. It's affecting a *lot* of people.

Included in that are a number of major Universities which have just begun their spring breaks. There are literally thousands of people who will be breaking the law if they try to get to the airport tomorrow morning. Flights are currently scheduled to resume at 9am.
posted by tiamat at 6:09 PM on February 20, 2004


CDN$1000 fine

Isn't that like, about, $5.76 American dollars?

Oh, wait...I'm thinking of yen.
posted by davidmsc at 6:14 PM on February 20, 2004


Topics of regional civics are pretty interesting, a nice diversion from American politics.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:19 PM on February 20, 2004


Isn't that like, about, $5.76 American dollars?

Oh, wait...I'm thinking of yen.


No, that's not right, either. 1000 yen is about $9. And the thousand Canadian Dollars is about $750, no small chunk of change.
posted by vorfeed at 6:29 PM on February 20, 2004


100 cm = 1 m = 39 in
posted by TimeFactor at 6:32 PM on February 20, 2004


Fact check: 100cm is actually between 39 and 40 inches. According to the Globe and Mail article, 95.5 cm of snow fell in Halifax, which is about 37.6 inches (2.54 cm per inch). Yes, I was raised near the U.S.-Canadian border.
posted by skoosh at 6:40 PM on February 20, 2004


The population of Halifax is about 150,000

More like 350,000.
posted by Dasein at 6:46 PM on February 20, 2004


Wow 70 degress here today, although I do miss the snow days. Nothing quite as good as an unexpected day off.
posted by jeblis at 6:49 PM on February 20, 2004


Just think of the street value of all that snow!
posted by machaus at 6:52 PM on February 20, 2004


That's fucking ridiculous... it's a little better than three feet of snow. Regular winter week around here. You'd think a country like Canada, not the most tropical of regions, would have a better grip on winter.

The no driving thing makes sense, we do the same thing but call it a 'snow emergency'. We tow your car if it's parked (or stuck) on the street and make you pay a fine to get it back -- but fining pedestrians $1000 for walking to the pub seems a little excessive.
posted by cedar at 6:54 PM on February 20, 2004


The population of Halifax is about 150,000

More like 350,000.


Huh? Wait, what's the conversion rate again?
posted by crank at 7:01 PM on February 20, 2004


I am in halifax right now, and its not that much snow really. The only thing that makes it abnormal is the drifts, which are 12+ feet deep in parts. Oh, and the fact that it all appeared in about 24 hours.

And as for the curfew, its a college town, you have thousands of college students on winter break, with beer, and crazy carpets, can you say, unenforceable.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 7:13 PM on February 20, 2004


Huh? Wait, what's the conversion rate again?

Classic.
posted by jeblis at 7:16 PM on February 20, 2004


college students on winter break, with beer, and crazy carpets

Those crazy Canadian college carpets.
posted by stbalbach at 7:22 PM on February 20, 2004


A curfew does seem excessive. They could have just asked people to stay home tonight if they possibly could, and a majority would have done so.
posted by orange swan at 7:31 PM on February 20, 2004


CDN$1000 fine

Isn't that like, about, $5.76 American dollars?


Ha. Good one. Considering the continued devaluation of the American dollar and the fact that I've heard two commentators on BBC World refer to the US dollar as 'doomed' in the past week (thanks in part to the criminal mismanagement of the economy by the current administration), I reckon it's entirely possible you might be laughing out of the other side of your mouth in the coming years.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:19 PM on February 20, 2004


That's fucking ridiculous... it's a little better than three feet of snow. Regular winter week around here.

Yeah, but it all came down in 24 hours, with incredible winds that made drifts twice as high. Maybe Montreal, but no other city in North America, has enough snow removal equipment to deal with that.

They could have just asked people to stay home tonight if they possibly could, and a majority would have done so.

If they really need people off the roads, this does it a whole lot better than a request. It does seem like a bit much, but who knows, maybe they're planning on having plows barrel down streets side-by-side, and figure that if they don't get everyone off the roads, they won't be able to get the city back up and running on time. Kind of cool to be under curfew either way - it's like there's some rebellion going on, only without shooting and stuff.
posted by Dasein at 8:59 PM on February 20, 2004


Sounds like the curfew came from plows having to "dodge" pedestrians and abandoned cars to try and get the roads cleared. It always amazes me when people decide they just have to get to the mall/movies/friends/office in really bad weather. That having been said, I should think if anyone can shrug this off, it's the folks in the Maritimes.

Me, I live in southern BC, so I know nothing of 12ft snow drifts. Today I wandered in the sunshine clad in a tshirt, light jacket and jeans.

Yes. Sunshine. Really. No, really. I am serious. It was sunny in Vancouver. Swear to God. Stop laughing, it was!

We had a warm weather bomb.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:24 PM on February 20, 2004


tiamat:Yes, I'm aware that it was supposed to be 4 out of 10. I just thought it was humorous. I was trying to make a funny, but I guess it didn't work.
posted by Snyder at 9:29 PM on February 20, 2004


hell, in detroit they declare martial law after a light dusting.
posted by quonsar at 10:00 PM on February 20, 2004


college students on winter break, with beer, and crazy carpets

What's a crazy college carpet? I'm guessing - something that you would roll someone up in as a prelude to dropping them off a bridge. Close?
posted by backOfYourMind at 10:03 PM on February 20, 2004


Crazy carpets are well known throughout the vast land of Canada. It's a thin piece of plastic with two holes are the front for your hands. You slide on it. They cost $2.99 or something, so pretty much everyone has one. Les crazy carpets.

The crazy college kids should also steal the corrugated and waxed signs from gas stations. We found those went like gangbusters, and you could fit 8 people on them. No steering, of course. Not for use in treed areas.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:41 PM on February 20, 2004


Snyder: I thought it was funny, but assumed you were poking fun at Halifax.

City equipped to handle this: Buffalo, NY. Still, its a good bit of snow for a day. More snow than I've seen since moving to Europe. In 6 years I've seen the ground covered exactly once. And that fell in less than an hour.
posted by Goofyy at 10:52 PM on February 20, 2004


Not to derail too much, but Salmonberry, that was a fun little site - I just gave my third-grade a basic French lesson.
posted by alumshubby at 5:59 AM on February 21, 2004


Thermohaline circulation slowdown = increased atmospheric heat transport.
posted by troutfishing at 7:19 AM on February 21, 2004


Yeah, but it all came down in 24 hours, with incredible winds that made drifts twice as high.

*Wondering if this is the same storm that dropped snow on Dallas Texas this past Valentines. We had 3 to 4 in. of nice powder. The storm came in from the southwest hitting San Antonio & Austin first then leaving the Dallas area heading northeast. The snow fell for a couple of hours on ground that was barely past freezing point for it to "stick". If temperatures the prior day had been colder, we would have easily had 5 inches in those hours.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:16 AM on February 21, 2004


Crazy carpet: boo. Flying saucer: yay.
posted by jon_kill at 10:20 AM on February 21, 2004


Yes. Sunshine. Really. No, really. I am serious. It was sunny in Vancouver. Swear to God. Stop laughing, it was!

Shhhhh! It's a secret! And don't tell 'em that today is just as gorgeous.
posted by deborah at 10:40 AM on February 21, 2004


Curfew extended. 1. 2.
posted by Dasein at 11:23 AM on February 21, 2004


Here are the press releases from the city. And here is the kind of snow banks we are dealing with...ones that can obscure the four lanes of Brunswick Street or completely cover Sackville Street. For more info, go to the Local CBC feature which has some great shots.
posted by boost ventilator at 3:06 PM on February 21, 2004


Thermohaline circulation slowdown = increased atmospheric heat transport.
Crazy carpet: boo. Flying saucer: yay.


Correct, on both counts.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 PM on February 21, 2004


Please excuse the gratuitous self link (not that anyone is even going to see it down here) but if anyone wants to see photos of the Halifax 2004 Blizzard I have posted some on my site:
Halifax Blizzard 2004.
posted by tiamat at 12:59 PM on February 22, 2004


stavros - I posed that formulation, for vetting, to a leading scientist in the field around 1999.

He said yes. More here
posted by troutfishing at 10:16 PM on February 22, 2004


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