Nova Scotia

Wind storm knocks out power to thousands across Nova Scotia

Tens of thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers were without power Tuesday morning and an apartment building in Cape Breton was evacuated due to flooding and structural damage after high winds and heavy rain swept across the region.

Power outages also forced the closure of a number of schools across the province

Strong winds destroyed this three-storey home, which was in the beginning stages of construction on Marvin Street in Dartmouth, N.S. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Tens of thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers were without power Tuesday morning and an apartment building in Cape Breton was evacuated due to flooding and structural damage after high winds and heavy rain swept across the region.

As of 7:30 p.m. AT Tuesday, there were 541 customers without power. At its peak, the storm knocked out power to more than 50,000 homes and businesses.

According to the utility, some areas may be without power until 11 p.m.

The storm prompted the Cape Breton Regional Fire Service to issue an evacuation order for the apartment at 297 Rotary Dr. in Sydney, which has about 60 tenants.

Jillian Moore, a spokesperson for the municipality, said a significant portion of the roof blew off. She said the evacuation order was needed to ensure the safety and well-being of the tenants.

Two school buses were unable to pass by a downed power line in Dartmouth Tuesday morning. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

"There is water coming through the roof causing significant water damage throughout the building," she said. "This has compromised the electrical system, which also means the notifications like fire alarms would be affected."

There was a bus transporting evacuated residents to Centre 200, where an emergency shelter was opened.

At 4:50 p.m., some residents were allowed back into their units. But 21 units are still under an evacuation directive with 51 people affected, according to CBRM.

Moore said it's not yet known how long people will be out of their homes. She said electrical and structural assessments need to be conducted.

The worst of the winds along the Atlantic coast had subsided by late Tuesday morning.

John Rideout, who lives on Leppert Street in central Halifax, had a massive limb come down on his property.

High winds ripped apart this tree on Leppert Street in central Halifax. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Rideout was preparing to take his wife to an appointment. Luckily he had just moved his car to the street as they prepared to leave.

"At first I couldn't identify what had happened. Something shook the house and clearly it was something sizeable and I thought the wind had maybe blown the deck off … but clearly I was wrong," he said.

The massive tree fell across his driveway where his car would have been.

High winds brought down tree limbs across Halifax and other parts of the province. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)
 

"It would have demolished the car and anybody in it," he said.

The high winds also knocked down a new three-storey home in the early stages of construction being built on Marvin Street in Dartmouth.

Power outages also forced the closure of a number of schools across the province. A full list of closures is available here.

On Tuesday morning, Environment Canada had Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast and all of Cape Breton under a wind warning with winds of 90 km/h gusting to 110 km/h.

A home under construction on Marvin Street in Dartmouth was destroyed by the storm. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

According to the national weather service, temperatures will drop Tuesday night and rain will change over to snow possibly mixed with ice pellets on Wednesday morning. Total snowfall amounts of five to 10 centimetres are expected. That could make for some slippery driving conditions.

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