Strong winds, snow snarls transport and causes power outages on East Coast

The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - Thousands of people on the East Coast lost power and school was cancelled in some areas today after blasts of winter wind and wet snow swept through Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia Power was reporting about 11,000 outages early today, and NB Power's website said about 5,400 residences and businesses had lost electricity.

Over 50 communities in Newfoundland's northern peninsula lost power as well when the storm hit Sunday evening.

Police forces around the region were warning of hazardous driving conditions as road clearing teams started moving snow off roads and highways.

In Prince Edward Island it's a public holiday, but police were cautioning travellers to be careful on the roads — and the Confederation Bridge prohibited trucks and tractor-trailers from crossing.

Airports in Halifax and in St. John's, N.L., were reporting cancellations and delays early in the morning for flights within the region.

Environment Canada said that strong winds caused blowing snow and near-zero visibility driving conditions.

Between 20 to 40 centimetres fell in New Brunswick, while eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia had varying amounts of snowfall mixed with rain.

Marine Atlantic cancelled both of its crossings between North Sydney, N.S., and Port Aux Basques, N.L., on Sunday.

Cape Breton experienced heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and severe wind gusts in some areas.

In western Cape Breton, wind gusts approached 160 kilometres per hour.