Snowstorm causes thousands of power outages, prompts travel warnings across N.B.

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A winter storm making its way across the Maritimes and Eastern Canada is causing thousands of power outages and prompting travel warnings.

The storm moving through New Brunswick will bring heavy rain across much of the Maritimes, with heavy snow and strong winds continuing in northern New Brunswick today, according to CBC meteorologist Brennan Allen.

NB Power’s website says about 13,500 customers, most in the Kennebecasis and Charlotte County areas, were without power as of 8 a.m. AT.

Power outages are also scattered across Nova Scotia. As of 6:45 a.m., there were about 13,000 customers without electricity, according to Nova Scotia Power.

Maritime Electric said there were power outages in dozens of P.E.I. communities, including Charlottetown and Summerside. As of 7 a.m., there were about 3,800 customers without power.

RCMP Sgt. Chantal Farrah said there were about two dozen calls across New Brunswick overnight that involved vehicle crashes.

“The weather was tricky for motorists and we remind you that it’s going to be like that probably for most of the day until tomorrow. So please take your time when you’re driving,” Farrah said.

Felicia Murphy of Brun-Way Operations said plows have been out all night on the Trans-Canada Highway between Longs Creek and the Quebec border.

She said blowing snow is creating poor visibility along the highway.

Murphy said residents should drive slowly and be aware of possible whiteout conditions, and recommends staying off the roads. If residents have to drive, drive slowly.

Nova Scotia Power crew

A Nova Scotia Power crew fixes a line near Hubbards on Friday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

“Give yourself time,” she said.

Travel warnings are also being issued in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Highway 3 west of Halifax was briefly closed near Simms Settlement, according to RCMP, as power crews dealt with a downed line. The stretch of road has reopened.

The Canso Causeway is closed to high-side vehicles, while the LaHave and Tancook Island ferries are suspended.

Wind gusts could reach 100 km/h, but will gradually weaken during the morning, says Environment Canada, although gusts of 90 km/h will persist in the Annapolis Valley and along the Bay of Fundy into the afternoon.

The Confederation Bridge was closed to all traffic for about three hours overnight, and as of 6:56 a.m. was closed to high-sided vehicles and motorcycles. According to the bridge’s website, winds were gusting as high as 137 km/h at 6:17 a.m.

Storm surge warning

Michelle MacAulay

Michelle MacAulay ventured out earlier Monday afternoon to snap this shot on the windy North Shore of P.E.I. (Michelle MacAualay/Twitter )

The snow and rain should end in central New Brunswick later on Friday morning, with showers or flurries expected along with a mix of sun and cloud.

“Periods of snow will linger into the early afternoon across northern New Brunswick, where additional accumulations of 5 to 10 cm will likely occur,” Allen said.

Environment Canada has issued a storm surge warning for the northeast coast with large waves expected.

“Storm surge combined with high wave activity will give local flooding near high tide during mid to late afternoon today,” said the statement.

“The east coast of the Acadian Peninsula has the highest risk, with the western Bay of Chaleur also under threat.”

​In southern New Brunswick strong winds are expected to persist throughout the day with gusts of 90 to 100 km/h possible, said Allen.

“Temperatures will drop across all three provinces this afternoon, which could lead to some icy roads in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island where temperatures will fall below or near zero this afternoon.”

Environment Canada has issued severe weather warnings and watches for most of Nova Scotia. It says wind gusts could be strong enough in some areas to down trees and damage buildings, while parts of the province could see flash flooding and water pooling on roads.

Storm pounds Quebec

Cars road snow

Cars that had skidded off the road weren’t an uncommon sight in the Sherbrooke area on Thursday. (Radio-Canada)

Maritime provinces aren’t the only ones shovelling their driveways Friday morning. A winter storm warning is also in effect for parts of Quebec.

Winter storm warnings have been issued for the Gaspé, Saguenay regions and Quebec City. Blowing snow will make for a difficult commute to work on Friday morning.

The major storm, which started Thursday night, is expected to bring as much as 50 centimetres of snow and high winds, travelling at 80 km/h in some areas.

Quebec City will see about five to 10 cm of blowing snow across the city on Friday morning.

Montreal will be spared Friday morning, seeing a few flurries and about two centimetres of snow, with western winds travelling at 20 km/h and increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this morning.

The bad weather will be over by the end of the day Friday, just in time for New Year’s Eve festivities. Saturday will be a mostly sunny day in the Maritimes.

“New Year’s Day will feature a weak system thatwill bring in warmer temperatures and a short period of light snow across most of New Brunswick,” said Allen.

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Snowstorm causes thousands of power outages, prompts travel warnings across N.B.

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