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Maritimes get another blast of winter, with heavy snow, power outages, cancellations

A powerful storm brought heavy, blowing snow to much of the Maritimes on Saturday, causing treacherous driving conditions, flight cancellations and power outages.

Drivers were urged to avoid travel amid blizzard-like conditions, and many roads and highways — including the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — were closed to traffic.

A flurry of closures and cancellations were announced across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, including flights, ferries, public transit, universities, libraries, COVID-19 clinics and businesses. Flights, ferries and public transit were also delayed or cancelled due to weather.

The weather prompted WestJet to halt its flights in the region until Sunday.

Parts of New Brunswick remained under winter storm warnings early Sunday morning.

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Double-digit snowfalls expected

maritimes get another blast of winter with heavy snow power outages cancellations
A plow clears snow on Robie Street in Halifax on Saturday. CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said residents of mainland Nova Scotia could expect 10 to 25 centimetres to fall. (Gareth Hampshire/CBC)

CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said residents of mainland Nova Scotia could expect 10 to 25 centimetres of snow to fall, along with 10 to 20 millimetres of rain along the coast on Saturday.

The storm and its snow prompted the cancellation of more than a dozen flights to and from Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Travellers were advised to check the status of their flights.

Across the province, a series of power outages were reported Saturday. As of early Sunday morning, Nova Scotia Power’s outage map showed around 8,000 customers without power.

The Halifax Regional Municipality told residents cleanup from the storm could take longer than usual due to “resourcing challenges” as a result of COVID-19.

The city says its workforce has been impacted by employee exposures, provincially mandated self-isolation and testing requirements. 

maritimes get another blast of winter with heavy snow power outages cancellations 1
A man tries to clear snow from a driveway in Halifax on Saturday. (Kelly Clark/The Canadian Press)

In neighbouring New Brunswick, snowfall totals of 20 to 40 centimetres were forecast for southern regions of the province, slightly more than the 15 to 25 centimetres forecast for northern regions.

Storm-related outages were reported there as well, with NB Power’s website indicating early Sunday morning that nearly 500 customers remained without power, down from more than 2,500 customers around 7 p.m.

Snow was still falling in the northern parts of New Brunswick on Sunday morning. Environment Canada issued storm warnings for Mount Carleton, Miramichi, Campbellton and Restigouche County, Bathurst and Chaleur region and Acadian Peninsula on Sunday. 

Those areas can expect another five centimetres of snow with wind gusting up to 70 km/h. 

maritimes get another blast of winter with heavy snow power outages cancellations 2
The snow was starting to make life harder for drivers in New Brunswick on Saturday morning — but the storm was just getting ramped up and conditions were deteriorating as the day continued. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

For Prince Edward Island, Environment Canada predicted totals of between 30 and 40 centimetres across the province on Saturday.

The Confederation Bridge was closed to traffic starting in the mid-afternoon because of the weather conditions and remained so as of the evening.

Flights to and from Charlottetown airport were cancelled.

P.E.I.’s Maritime Electric said more than 1,000 of its customers were without power on Sunday morning.

Preview from U.S.

A powerful nor’easter swept the Northeastern U.S on Saturday, putting parts of 10 states under blizzard warnings along the way.

The Associated Press reported that “the worst” of that storm was expected to blow into Canada by Sunday morning.

maritimes get another blast of winter with heavy snow power outages cancellations 3
George Garcia, of Stony Brook, N.Y., shovels out the driveway of his home on Saturday, following snowfall delivered by a powerful nor’easter that affected 10 U.S. states. The Associated Press reported that ‘the worst’ of that storm was expected to blow by Sunday morning into Canada. (John Paraskevas/Newsday/The Associated Press)

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