A pedestrian braves the elements on the boardwalk at Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage, N.S. on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Lights out, flights grounded as storm lashes Atlantic region

Electricity was out for 51,000 homes and businesses early Wednesday in Nova Scotia

Thousands of Maritimers woke up to power outages, school closures and flight cancellations Wednesday after the third storm to hit in a week swept through the region.

In downtown Halifax, wind blasts were sufficient to topple trees and a piece of the steeple of St. Matthew’s United Church, which damaged a historic fence as it fell onto a sidewalk.

The electricity was out for 51,000 homes and businesses early Wednesday in Nova Scotia, with Nova Scotia Power saying that it had restored power to 70,000 customers since noon on Tuesday.

Utility spokeswoman Tiffany Chase said the combination of wet snow and gusting winds creates challenging conditions for the power grid.

“When you have snow mixed with rain it makes the snow heavy, it clings to our equipment and weighs down tree branches,” she said in an interview early Wednesday.

Related: Blizzard warnings up for third nor’easter hitting Northeast

The Halifax Public Gardens remained closed due to “high winds and poor pathway conditions,” the city said in a tweet.

In New Brunswick there were fewer power outages, with about 4,300 customers still without power as of 6:30 a.m., but schools throughout the province were closed.

Government offices were set to open at 11 a.m., with Fredericton’s municipal services also opening mid morning.

Environment Canada has issued a slew of warnings, saying up to 25 centimetres of snow were expected in some areas.

Agency meteorologist Ian Hubbard said 20 to 25 centimetres of snow were expected in New Brunswick, with up to 40 centimetres possible in some areas.

Prince Edward Island had school closures along with one-hour delays as buses waited for roads to be cleared. Some primary care facilities in P.E.I.’s West Prince region also announced they were rescheduling appointments due to the storm.

The Island’s utility said about 6,100 customers were without power overnight, but by 3:30 a.m. most had power back.

Related: Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Environment Canada was also calling for potentially damaging high winds of up to 110 kilometres an hour along coastal areas of Nova Scotia and up to 100 km/h in parts of Newfoundland.

The weather agency said some areas of Newfoundland could expect 15 to 30 millimetres of rain by Thursday afternoon.

Airlines cancelled flights ahead of the storm.

The departure board at Halifax Stanfield International Airport showed around a dozen flight cancellations early Wednesday, with similar situations in smaller airports around the region.

However, most flights after 7:30 a.m. were on schedule as the weather calmed over Nova Scotia’s capital.

Ferry crossings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were posting delays, and travellers were advised to check Marine Atlantic’s website for updates.

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Senior athletes do well

Good job, Rimbey

Rural lifestyle attracts some medical professionals

Rimbey showcased for medical students

UPDATE – Amber Alert cancelled, Emma O’Keeffe has been found

Six-year-old girl with autism believed abducted at a strip mall in Saskatchewan

Ponoka played host to a busy high school rodeo weekend

The Battle River High School Rodeo Association held the rodeo weekend at the Stampede grounds

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

Potential replacements for Phoenix pay system to start testing soon: Brison

Testing of prototypes to replace troubled federal pay system will begin within weeks

Nanaimo’s Tilray Inc. briefly the world’s largest cannabis company

The company, only listed in the US, nearly reached $300 in afternoon trading on Wednesday

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison

Smart was 14 years old when she was snatched from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 by street preacher Brian David Mitchell

New York books editor out after backlash over Jian Ghomeshi essay

Ian Buruma, who was appointed as editor of the New York Review of Books in late 2017, no longer works for the publication

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Most Read