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)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

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Realty/Submitted).
Sidney calls on Victoria Airport Authority to improve design of planned warehouse

Council stops short of a definitive statement for or against proposal

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

A man was arrested after allegedly threatening people downtown on May 10 while brandishing this knife. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man armed with a knife arrested for allegedly threatening people in downtown Victoria

Officers used de-escalation techniques during afternoon arrest

Colwood council voted to give businesses less of a cut than planned and will look for more cuts this week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood council gets back to work after voting against 9.3% property tax hike

Emergency meetings this week will find more cuts, finalize tax plan by Friday deadline

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read