Nova Scotia

Cleanup from Lee continues as thousands remain without power in Nova Scotia

Cleanup work continues after post-tropical storm Lee blew through the region, with tens of thousands of residents still without power in Nova Scotia.

Halifax Public Gardens, Point Pleasant Park reopened Monday

A power worker stands in a bucket on a truck surrounded by trees. There are fallen trees and a pylon in the foreground.
Nova Scotia Power says 277,000 customers were affected by outages throughout the storm. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

Cleanup work continues after post-tropical storm Lee blew through the region, with thousands of residents still without power in Nova Scotia.

More than 7,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were still without electricity Monday night. Some estimated restoration times were as late as 11 p.m.

More than half of Nova Scotia Power customers — 277,000 — were affected by power outages throughout the storm, which began blowing through the region Friday evening. 

The National Hurricane Center in the U.S. said the storm made landfall in Long Island, N.S., around 4 p.m. Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h.

Top wind gusts of 117 km/h were recorded at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, while southwestern Nova Scotia saw gusts of between 90 and 110 km/h and between 30 and 60 millimetres of rainfall.

Graphic showing wind speeds and rainfall amounts.
Preliminary wind gusts and rainfall totals for post-tropical storm Lee. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

There were no reports of major infrastructure damage or of missing people, injuries or deaths. Lee did claim the life of at least one person south of the border — a 51-year-old motorist in Maine died after a large tree limb fell on his vehicle Saturday.

All roads in the Halifax area were open, and the Halifax Public Gardens and Point Pleasant Park reopened Monday. Camp Hill Cemetery will remain closed until further notice.

"There are still areas in several municipal parks that require clean up from downed trees and debris from the storm," the city said on its website. "Residents are reminded to adhere to signage and to stay clear of barricaded areas."

Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow and the western part of the province, which includes the South Shore, the Annapolis Valley, Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne County, were hardest hit by the storm, Nova Scotia Power said in a release.

The most powerful images of Lee's aftermath in Nova Scotia

7 days ago
Duration 0:57
Post-tropical storm Lee made landfall in Nova Scotia this weekend, bringing heavy rain and powerful winds. Here's a look at some of the aftermath across the province.

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, the mayor of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, said Lee did more damage to the shoreline in that region than Hurricane Juan, a powerful storm that swept through the province in 2003.

"I spoke with a lot of the residents that have lived there their entire lives and they have said that this was definitely by far the worst storm that they have experienced so far," Bolivar-Getson told CBC Nova Scotia News at Six.

Rissers Beach Provincial Park, a popular seaside camping destination in Petite Rivière, N.S., on the province's South Shore, was extensively damaged by the storm surge, and is closed until further notice.

A damaged bridge with rocks on it.
The province crews were able to reopen one lane on a small timber bridge on Green Bay Road near Petit Rivière, N.S. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Rob Paddock of the provincial Department of Natural Resources said there is substantial damage to infrastructure — including the boardwalk — and numerous trees were uprooted.

The province said a small timber bridge on Green Bay Road near Petit Rivière was damaged, but crews were able to reopen one lane.

"In that area, now Green Bay, it lifted the armour rock up. It destroyed the road. It just peeled the asphalt away. It flung rocks back on people's lawns. [A provincial crew] was there yesterday trying to rough in a road and they were successful in doing that, so that people were able to move back and forth. But until that time it was rock climbing," Bolivar-Getson said.

No other roads or bridges were significantly damaged, but four provincial roads were closed Monday, mostly due to rocks and debris. Four other provincial roads were passable with caution and all ferries were back in service.

The province said there were no significant costs expected from this work.

Trees lay on their side and campfires are overturned on a sandy wet beach.
Infrastructure was damaged and trees were uprooted at Rissers Beach Provincial Park. (Communications Nova Scotia)

He said staff were doing a full assessment of the damage on Monday, as well as beginning to clean up.

"All of our beach parks get damaged with every major storm event.... But I would say in Lunenburg, for me, Rissers was the park that got the brunt of the storm," said Paddock, adding there was no estimate for when the park would reopen.

Provincial camping parks were closed on Friday ahead of the storm. Paddock said a number of parks would remain closed for days or even weeks. Eight parks, however, were open as of 2 p.m. Monday. They are:

  • Battery Provincial Park.
  • Blomidon Provincial Park.
  • Caribou–Munroes Island Provincial Park.
  • Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park.
  • Mira River Provincial Park.
  • Porters Lake Provincial Park.
  • Valleyview Provincial Park.
  • Whycocomagh Provincial Park.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said the heaviest rain fell northwest of Lee's track, where amounts of 50 to 100 millimetres or more were recorded.