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

Nelson fire department douses blaze on CPR land

Nelson police are investigating

‘The Columbia River is on fire!’

Fishing columnist Kerry Reed on the great fishing in the Columbia River and Kootenay Lake

LETTERS: Proportional representation debate not balanced

From readers Marty Horswill and Steve Fawcett

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Updated: Coroner investigating death of Trail man

A complicated recovery was required for a man who died in a fall above the Trail hospital

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read