Heavy snow, strong winds hitting Maritimes as major system passes

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX, N.S. - The Maritime provinces were battered by a severe winter storm Saturday as a massive low-pressure system brought a mix of heavy snow, ice pellets and rain to the region.

The storm was predicted to dump throughout the night and into Sunday up to 50 centimetres of snow on parts of New Brunswick and up to 30 centimetres in Nova Scotia.

Environment Canada also issued warnings for high winds overnight and for possible storm surges in coastal areas.

"It's a pretty tough forecast, to be honest with you," said Jeremy March, a meteorologist.

"To the west, it's all snow, and to the east in Cape Breton, it's pretty much a rain event. P.E.I. should see mostly rain as well."

In Halifax, precipitation fell throughout the day in various forms. Ice pellets stung. Heavy, wet snow clogged streets, and occasional bursts of rain made things even more of a mess.

"This is just a little snow, it could be worse," one man told CTV News as he cleared off his van.

Still, most people stayed inside but the few who didn't encountered slick roads that caused scattered accidents. A Metro Transit bus went off the road, striking a tree.

March said strong winds were expected to lash the region throughout the night.

"As the low-pressure system nears the province, we're looking at wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour for the Nova Scotia mainland and up to 160 kilometres and hour in the Cape Breton highlands."

Michelle Perry of the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office urged people to stay away from the coastline.

"A storm surge can be very unpredictable," she said to CTV. "What can be beautiful for one second can be deadly the next."

The flight board at Halifax Stanfield International Airport showed delays and cancellations for departures and arrivals.

Travellers to and from P.E.I were being warned about possible restrictions on the Confederation Bridge because of intensifying winds.

In New Brunswick, NB Power reported outages by early evening to 7,200 homes and businesses, mostly in the Moncton area. Another 2,000 were without electricity in Nova Scotia.

Organizations: Environment Canada, CTV News, Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office Halifax Stanfield International Airport NB Power

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, HALIFAX, New Brunswick Cape Breton Moncton

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