Nova Scotia

Ice storm ravages power lines in Cape Breton

Thousands of Nova Scotians, particularly in Cape Breton, are without power Tuesday and schools were cancelled across the province as another wintry storm blew through.

More than 11,500 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity at height of outages

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      Thousands of Nova Scotians, particularly in Cape Breton, are without power Tuesday and schools were cancelled across the province as another wintry storm blew through.

      More than 11,500 customers were without power as of 5:25 p.m. According to Nova Scotia Power's website, most of the outages are in Cape Breton including Baddeck, Port Hawkesbury and parts of the Sydney area. There are also some outages in Guysborough County.

      Hundreds of residents have been told it may be as late as Wednesday afternoon before power is restored.

      Robert Lelievre, who lives in Point Cross near Cheticamp, said freezing rain and wind did a number on the power lines next to his house.

      "The main wire going into town came off the poles and ripped. That was slapping into our home with the heavy winds. Then at the same time, the transformer blew," he said.

      Lelievre said the power was already out in the area so the wire wasn't live when it hit the house. Still, he was worried.

      "I was more concerned about my windows in the front yard and if it would hit one of the windows and break it. But we got lucky — nothing like that happened," he said.

      In River Ryan, a community in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, officials stopped traffic as they dealt with several downed power lines on the road.

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

      New Brunswick RCMP closed the Trans-Canada Highway in the Tantramar Marshes area and re-routed drivers back to Amherst for several hours.

      Classes cancelled across province

      Meanwhile, officials with the Halifax Regional Municipality said the mixed precipitation had blanketed the city with layers of snow, ice pellets and rain. They warned motorists to slow down.

      "Hill, turns, intersections and main routes have been cleared and treated multiple times, although slippery sections can be expected as mixed precipitation persists," said Jennifer Stairs, a spokeswoman for the Halifax Regional Municipality.

      "Commuters are asked to remember that road conditions are subject to rapid shifts as the air temperature and precipitation type is varied across the region."

      The freezing rain and snow also led to several delayed arrivals and departures at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, while Marine Atlantic decided to stay in port again Tuesday morning in North Sydney and Port Aux Basques.

      Classes were cancelled at school boards across the province including:

      • Annapolis Valley Regional School Board.
      • Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
      • South Shore Regional School Board.
      • Tri-County Regional School Board.
      • Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
      • Strait Regional School Board.

      The Halifax Regional School Board has cancelled all buses Tuesday, but only cancelled classes in a handful of schools:

      • Schools in the Duncan MacMillan, Eastern Shore District, Musquodoboit Rural and Sir John A. Macdonald families of schools are closed.
      • Brookside Jr. High, Atlantic Memorial-Terence Bay Elementary and Prospect Road Elementary are closed.

      For a full list of cancellations, visit CBC's Storm Centre.