Winter storm leaves more than 25,000 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity
Wind warnings remain in effect for all of Cape Breton
A powerful nor'easter working its way across the province left more than 25,000 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity Saturday and has cancelled many flights at the Halifax airport.
As of 4:30 p.m. AT, the utility said 25,244 customers did not have power.
The outages covered the entire mainland, with a few hundred people in Cape Breton without power.
In a news release issued Saturday morning, Nova Scotia Power said the company had more than 500 people in the field working to restore power.
Speaking to CBC News on Saturday afternoon, Lia MacDonald, vice-president of transmission, distribution and delivery for Nova Scotia Power, said crews were working to restore power to most parts of the province by Saturday evening subject to weather conditions.
"When the conditions are particularly windy and above 80 kilometres an hour it's not safe for the crews to be up in the bucket to conduct the line repairs," she said.
"When the conditions are that way at the local level the crews will stop until it is safe for them to get back in the bucket and continue the restoration."
Areas that will continue to be affected by adverse weather in the eastern part of the province and that may experience outages later, will have restoration times into the evening and perhaps into Sunday, MacDonald said.
Winds reached 90 km/h along the South Shore and Halifax and exceeded 120 km/h along the Eastern Shore.
All branches of the Halifax Public Libraries were closed Saturday.
An Environment Canada update at 3:51 p.m. Saturday said wind warnings are in effect Saturday for all counties in Cape Breton as well as Guysborough County.
A winter storm warning is in effect for Pictou County and Antigonish County.
Public weather alerts are no longer in effect for Halifax Metro and Halifax County West, Annapolis County, Digby County, Hants County, Kings County, Lunenburg County, Queens County, Shelburne County and Yarmouth County.
Snow squall warnings have been issued for Victoria and Inverness counties. Five to 15 centimetres is expected today, and another 5-15 tonight.
Temperatures on the island will fall to between –6 C and –9 C this afternoon, with a wind chill of –18 to –25.
CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said northwest winds would increase to 60 km/h and gust to 100, but would slowly subside Saturday night.
The storm caused hazardous conditions on many roads in the province.
In a news release Saturday afternoon, public works urged motorists to stay off roads in several areas due to deteriorating conditions or whiteouts and hazardous conditions. The warning applied to the following counties:
The release issued at 1:54 p.m. said the eastern part of the province was also starting to experience reduced visibility.
Please be advised we are asking that motorists stay off Hwy 101 due to deteriorating road conditions.—@NS_PublicWorks
The department said the Cobequid Pass was closed in both directions because of zero visibility and drifting snow.
It said one lane was open at Folly Mountain and plows and heavy equipment were out working.
East Margaree Road in Inverness was also closed from the East Margaree Road to the Cabot Trail, it said, because of flooding.
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