Wintry weather takes its toll on the Maritimes

A long bout of winter weather enveloped much of the Maritimes over the weekend and into the early week, leaving thousands without power.

Thousands across Maritime provinces are still without power in wake of winter weather blast

Power lines were weighed down by ice near Main-a-Dieu in Cape Breton. (Courtesy: Josephine Kennedy)

The long bout of winter weather that enveloped much of the Maritimes over the weekend and into the early week has taken its toll, leaving thousands in the region without power.

"A very slow-moving, low-pressure system brought an extended period of snow, ice pellets, and freezing rain across much of the Maritimes, starting late Saturday night and in some cases continuing into the early hours of Wednesday," said CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell.

More than 11,000 people lost electricity on Tuesday in Cape Breton as an ice storm ravaged northern Nova Scotia. Some residents were told it may be as late as Wednesday afternoon before their power would be restored.

Sydney Airport reporting freezing rain lasting 40 consecutive hours.

At one point, as many as 15,000 P.E.I. residents were without power as freezing rain blanketed the province on Monday, forcing several emergency groups to set up warming centres across the province.

In New Brunswick, storm snowfall totals peaked as high as 38 centimetres in Bathurst, 54 cm at Base Gagetown and 23 cm in Moncton. Charlottetown measured 25 cm of snow, while parts of southwest Nova Scotia saw initial rainfall amounts in excess of 40 millimetres by Monday morning.

As of Tuesday evening, 16,000 homes and businesses in New Brunswick were still without power, with NB Power saying it could be as late as Saturday before electricity is restored to all customers, especially those in the southeast of the province.

The Cobequid Pass, a 45-kilometre section of the Trans-Canada Highway, experienced near whiteout conditions as wind blew icy rain across the road.

Many other locations in the Maritimes found themselves showered with a mix of ice pellets and freezing rain for 24 hours or more.

Unofficial reports indicated ice as thick as 10 mm had collected on some tree branches.

According to CBC's Mitchell, the last of the icy weather is forecast to clear eastern Nova Scotia overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday, with a chance of flurries predicted across the Maritimes on Wednesday.

This most recent stormy weather is unlikely to be the last of the season.

Following a period of relative calm in the latter portion of this week, another low pressure zone from the west is set to bring in more snow and rain on Saturday.