Nova Scotia

Power returns after Elsa causes thousands of outages in the Maritimes

Power is returning to thousands of homes and businesses Saturday morning after post-tropical storm Elsa swept through the Maritimes overnight.

Service restored to most after post-tropical storm caused more than 50,000 outages

Electricity wires are seen running along power poles.
This undated file photo shows power lines in Nova Scotia. A Nova Scotia Power representative on Saturday said crews were able to restore power to more than 40,000 customers in the province. (Robert Short/CBC)

Power has been restored to thousands of homes and businesses Saturday after post-tropical storm Elsa swept through the Maritimes overnight.

The storm brought heavy rain to New Brunswick and high wind gusts to Nova Scotia, which caused more than 50,000 outages in both provinces.

Sean Borden, the storm lead with Nova Scotia Power, said crews were forced to stand down Friday night due to the high winds but have since been able to restore power to more than 40,000 customers in the province.

"The cause of the outages was due to some strong winds that came as part as post-tropical storm Elsa, which caused vegetation to come in contact with our lines," Borden said.

Borden said as Elsa moved east across the the province, the wind caused significant outages in Bridgewater, Coldbrook, Halifax and Truro.

Reports from Environment Canada say the Halifax area received 83 km/h wind gusts, while the Cape Breton Skyline Trail reached 100 km/h winds.

Power had been restored to most Nova Scotia Power customers by 2:30 p.m. AT. Any remaining outages are expected to be fixed by the end of the day, according to the NS Power outage map.

"Our crews are making great progress ... they're out working hard and getting the power back on for our customers," Borden said early Saturday.

Heavy rain also caused about 1,000 NB Power customers to lose electricity early Saturday, but most had their power back by 9 a.m. AT.

Initial rainfall totals from Environment Canada show Miramichi received the most rain in New Brunswick, with 92 mm falling.

"A trough of low pressure gave periods of heavy rain along with isolated thunderstorms to portions of the province well ahead of the moisture associated with post-tropical storm Elsa," the report said. "The combination of the two [led] to widespread rainfall amounts between 50 and 100 mm."

In Prince Edward Island, high winds gusting to 70 km/hr caused a handful of power outages, many of which have already been restored.

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said the Island also received about 25-50 mm of rain.

In this weather map of the Maritime provinces, the track shows that Elsa was expected to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the Maritimes on Friday night. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

On Friday, Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for all of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as western Newfoundland and parts of northern Nova Scotia. 

The weather agency had also issued a tropical cyclone statement for most of Nova Scotia.

Most notices were lifted Saturday morning, but a rainfall warning is still in effect for northern parts of Newfoundland