Rains drench Atlantic Canada, leading to flooding, outages and homes evacuated

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The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, January 13, 2018 11:41AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:24PM EST

HALIFAX — Much of Atlantic Canada is being pummelled with heavy winds and a downpour on Saturday, leaving thousands of Maritimers without power and leading some people in southwest New Brunswick to evacuate their homes.

Environment Canada said a low-pressure system will slowly track across the East Coast today, drenching the region in heavy rains.

In southern New Brunswick, total rainfall amounts had exceeded 50 milimetres in some areas by Saturday afternoon, with isolated reports of more than 100 milimetres, according to the weather agency.

Forecasters said southwestern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland’s south coast could be hit with up to 50 milimetres of rain.

The weather agency says the frozen ground has a reduced ability to absorb the deluge, which, combined with unseasonably mild temperatures in some areas, could lead to substantial snowmelt and runoff.

Nova Scotia Power reported about 11,000 customers were without power early on Saturday afternoon, while New Brunswick’s power utility said around 9,750 people were affected by outages.

Municipal officials in Sussex, N.B., have advised some residents to evacuate their homes due to the risk of flooding, saying conditions in affected areas have become “unstable.”

An emergency shelter has been set up at Kingswood University, the Town of Sussex wrote on its Facebook page.

“Please refrain from driving down flooded streets to ‘view the damage’ as vehicles are causing waves, which are causing more problems,” the town wrote.

In western Newfoundland, RCMP say stretches of the Trans-Canada Highway have been washed out or flooded, and social media users have posted photos of a shed partially submerged in water in Benoit’s Cove.

“The west coast has had very heavy rainfall overnight and again today and motorists should drive with extreme caution if they have to travel in this area,” police said in a statement.

Environment Canada says plummeting temperatures could cause pooling water to ice over as flash freezes take hold in some areas later in the day.


Rains drench Atlantic Canada, leading to flooding, outages and homes evacuated

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