Rain and wind hit Maritimes, knock out power to thousands

Rain and wind walloped the Maritimes on Wednesday with up to 80 millimetres of rain expected in some places as a storm passed through the region.

Gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour recorded in parts of Nova Scotia

A pedestrian braves heavy rain in Halifax. Forecasters say the strongest winds, with gusts up to 100 kilometres an hour, are expected in western Nova Scotia and the Cape Breton Highlands. (The Canadian Press)

More than 35,000 people were left in the dark in the Martitimes Wednesday as rain and wind walloped the region. Up to 80 millimetres of rain was predicted to fall in some places as a storm passed through.

The wind knocked down trees and power lines. Every flight but one was cancelled out of Halifax's Stanfield International Airport. 

Halifax Regional Police issued a warning to drivers in Bedford, as the traffic lights were out in the area. 

Environment Canada issued wind warnings for all of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, while much of Nova Scotia was also covered by a rainfall warning. 

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said drivers should be careful on the roads, as they are expected to get icy.

He said flooding is possible and there could be hydroplaning conditions on some roads.

In Fredericton, a truck driver was stuck in his cab after a power line fell on his truck. Power crews were called in and removed it safely.

Wind gusts to continue

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are expected to be hit with wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour on Wednesday night. Mitchell said parts of southwestern Nova Scotia had already recorded gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour. 

"Those very strong southerly gusts are expected to be moving up and across the entire province as we make our way through tonight in towards the early morning hours," said Mitchell.

"The higher gusts — the ones getting close to or above 100 kilometres an hour — are around the Atlantic coastline."

The strongest wind gust in Lepreau, N.B. clocked in at 99 kilometres an hour.

Environment Canada says wind gusts of up to 100 km/h are in the forecast Wednesday for parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and western Newfoundland. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

Power outages hit each province. In New Brunswick, more than 7,300 homes were in the dark by 10 p.m. AT. Nova Scotia Power said the outages included more than 17,331 customers at that hour.

People on Prince Edward Island lost their lights around 9:30 p.m., when 11,000 customers were left in the dark between Stratford and East Point. 

David Rodenhiser, a spokesman for Nova Scotia Power, said trees often take out power lines when winds blow more than 80 kilometres an hour.

He said the utility has everyone ready for the storm.

"We've got about 180 power line workers, plus support teams. Those support teams would include tree crews, damage assessors, supervisors and engineers. As well, there would probably be around 25 line workers from Emera Utility Services who will be available to assist," Rodenhiser said earlier on Wednesday.

The shifts are staggered, with people working in eastern areas and Cape Breton reporting for work later because the weather will move from west to east.

Ferries cancel sailings

Northumberland Ferries Limited made its 9:30 a.m. crossing from Caribou, N.S., to Wood Islands, P.E.I., but all other sailings — including the Digby to Saint John trip — were cancelled due to the high winds.

Marine Atlantic ferries left port in North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., a little earlier than usual on Wednesday, hoping to reach their destinations before the predicted storm moves in. The ferry service cancelled its crossings for Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The Tancook Island ferry also stopped running Wednesday due to strong winds.

The storm could also put a damper on plans for Thanksgiving in the United States. Anyone travelling down to the U.S. should check to make sure flights aren’t delayed or cancelled.


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