Storm disruptions continue in Maritimes

Thousands of Maritimers are still without power and some won't have it restored until Wednesday after a nor'easter blew through the region Monday.

Effects ease, but some New Brunswickers won't have power till Wednesday

Thousands of Maritimers are still without power and some won't have it restored until Wednesday after a nor'easter blew through the region Monday.

A motorist makes his way along a snow-covered road in Waterford, N.B., Monday. Some New Brunswickers will be without power till Wednesday, NB Power says. ((David Smith/Canadian Press))

In New Brunswick, about 2,500 customers were still without power as of 8:30 p.m., down from as many as 16,000 on Monday. Most were in the province's east, where there were major outages in Bathurst, Bouctouche, Miramichi and Sussex. 

Utility spokeswoman Meghan Gerrish said it will be Wednesday before power is restored to affected customers in Bouctouche and Miramichi. Bouctouche has almost 2,400 affected customers, while about 2,000 Miramichi customers are in the dark.

NB Power says blizzard conditions with high winds and heavy snow caused trees to hit power lines.

Part of the delay has been due to the sheer number of outages throughout the province, which has meant crews have had lots of travel time from job to job, Gerrish said.

In Nova Scotia, about 300 customers were still affected, mostly in the town of Windsor, and most were new outages caused by high winds overnight. During the height of the storm, almost 40,000 Nova Scotian households lost power.

In Prince Edward Island, about 600 homes were still without power at 2 p.m.

A police officer on Prince Edward Island slows a vehicle as it approaches an accident Monday. Much of the province received a mixture of rain and snow. ((CBC))

Most watches and warnings for the Maritimes are over. The only exception is a wind warning in Prince County, P.E.I., where gusts could hit 90 kilometres an hour.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said that in the rest of the Maritimes, wind had died down to below 70 km/h.

The storm brought 15 to 30 centimetres of snow to most parts of New Brunswick. The northeastern city of Bathurst had 41 centimetres, a record for Dec. 27.

In Nova Scotia and P.E.I., the storm brought a mixture of rain and snow, pushed around by gusty winds.

Halifax, for instance, received 26 millimetres of rain and 21 centimetres of snow, and Charlottetown received eight mm of rain and 16 cm of snow.

While most locations in the Maritimes received winds of between 50 and 90 km/h, Grand Étang, N.S., on the Cape Breton coast, had a maximum gust of 152 km/h.

Blowing snow a concern

Winds will still be gusting to between 60 and 70 km/h in many places, so blowing and drifting snow will be a concern on the roads, Wagstaffe said.

"Still getting snow covered and slippery sections, wind has picked up and we're getting some drifting now, blowing snow," said Gary Wood, dispatcher for Queens County, P.E.I. "So [we] just ask motorists to be careful if they're out there today.

Jean Richard clears snow from his car at his ski cottage in Waterford, N.B., after a heavy snow that began falling on most of the province early Monday morning. ((David Smith/Canadian Press))

Roads were reportedly slippery Tuesday morning in many areas of New Brunswick and in Prince and Queens counties in Prince Edward Island.

Restrictions on the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and P.E.I. have been in place since 1:15 a.m. 

Motorcycles, automobiles hauling trailers, and high-sided vehicles, including trucks, tractor trailers, recreational vehicles and buses, are not allowed on the bridge till further notice because of high winds.

Marine Atlantic's service between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland has experienced delays because of high winds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the largest ferry, the Atlantic Vision, is not in service because of mechanical problems.

The lot outside a Tim Hortons in Saint-Antoine, N.B., is cleared of snow on Monday. Nearby Bouctouche received 21 centimetres during Monday's storm. ((Daniel McHardie/CBC))

Marine Atlantic has asked passengers with reservations over the next 24 hours to keep in touch through its toll-free line at 1-800-341-7981.

The same weather system soaked Newfoundland with rain Monday, and was expected to bring a snowstorm to Labrador Tuesday and Wednesday.

St. John's saw some flooding after 44 millimetres of rain, backing up storm sewers and heaving some roads.  

Boxing Day shopping affected

In Moncton, N.B., which received 27 centimetres of snow, the weather had an impact on holiday shopping.

Monday was the first day of Boxing Day shopping in New Brunswick, but the Champlain Place mall didn't open its doors until noon — four hours later than scheduled. 

Saint John, which was not hit as hard as other areas, had a slow start but picked up once people dug out in the morning, retailers said.

Shopper Sue Teakles welcomed the storm. She said it only took her 10 minutes to pick out the microwave and printer she wanted at Future Shop.