PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

Heavy snowfall cracked a window at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, unleashing an avalanche 12 feet into the newsroom. (Gerry Leibel/Northern Sentinel)
Heavy snowfall cracked a window at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, unleashing an avalanche 12 feet into the newsroom. (Gerry Leibel/Northern Sentinel)
Heavy snowfall cracked a window at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, unleashing an avalanche 12 feet into the newsroom. (Gerry Leibel/Northern Sentinel)
Heavy snowfall cracked a window at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, unleashing an avalanche 12 feet into the newsroom. (Gerry Leibel/Northern Sentinel)
Heavy snowfall cracked a window at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, unleashing an avalanche 12 feet into the newsroom. (Gerry Leibel/Northern Sentinel)

At first glance, one might think the photos were taken during last weekend’s blizzard in Newfoundland.

But while the recent winter storm here in B.C. may have let up on the south coast, the snow has continued falling in the north and caused some major problems at the Black Press Media community newspaper in Kitimat.

“On Friday, the snow was already level with the windowsill,” recalled Gerry Leibel, editor of the Northern Sentinel.

But on Monday, when Leibel got to the office, the windows were shattered and an avalanche of snow was 12 feet into the newsroom.

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

“The two rooms affected were my office, of course, as well as our interview room,” Leibel said. “My laptop froze up – literally and figuratively,” recalled Gerry Leibel, editor of the Northern Sentinel.

He said his journalistic instincts kicked in when he first saw the cascade of snow, and had some fun with a camera before figuring out how to clear the space.

District of Kitimat work crews spent much of the day removing the snow and glass from the office and boarding up the broken windows. Those won’t be repaired until the mountain of snow outside is removed. The exact cause of the incident is under investigation.

“Currently, there are three massive dehumidifiers whirring away in the two offices, drying the waterlogged carpets,” Leibel said.

Locals don’t have to worry about their Thursday edition being absent from their doorsteps. Leibel said even a miniature avalanche can’t get in the way of meeting the press deadline.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Snow

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

Just Posted

As Nelson hotels close, some try to stay open without guests

Vacancies are there, even for people who need to self-isolate

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Nelson police make drug bust in Railtown

Drugs, weapons and stolen property were among the items found

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read