Storm sweeps across Maritimes bringing snow, freezing rain and high winds


A winter storm is hitting the Maritimes with blowing winds, freezing rain, snow and rain expected through the day, with as much as 40 centimetres of snow in northern parts of New Brunswick.

Environment Canada has issued winter storm warnings for all of New Brunswick and western P.E.I. There are rain and wind warnings in effect across Nova Scotia but snow is expected before the transition to rain happens later in the day.

CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said warmer air Sunday afternoon will transform snow to ice pellets and freezing rain in southern New Brunswick, the eastern half of P.E.I. and all of Nova Scotia. 

Simpkin said most of mainland Nova Scotia will see five to 10 cm of snow, mixed with some ice pellets, before 10 to 15 millimetres of rain later on Sunday. An additional 30 to 40 mm of rain is expected tonight.

Cape Breton will see the storm arrive later in the day with heavy downpours resulting in about 25 mm of rain tonight, she said. 

Freezing rain as temperature rises

Southeastern parts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. will also see five to 15 cm of snow and ice pellets before the changeover, which wlll include freezing rain before about 20 mm of rain, Simpkin said.

Fredericton and northern New Brunswick will see more snow, but some freezing rain is also expected in the Fredericton area this evening. Up to 40 cm of snow is forecasted for northern parts of New Brunswick. 

High winds will peak tonight with gusts up to 90 to 100 km/h in parts of the Maritimes, she said. 

Travel affected

Environment Canada warns localized and flash flooding could cause water to pool on roads.

Airlines have issued travel advisories for aiports in all three Maritime provinces. Flights at some airports are already affected. 

The high winds are expected to create rough seas. Marine Atlantic is planning to sail ealier than usual this morning between North Sydney, N.S., and Port Aux Basques, N.L., to try to keep ahead of the messy weather.

Bay Ferries has cancelled its crossings.

The Confederation Bridge expects to start restricting traffic at noon. 

The weather system is expected to continue well into Monday.


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La population des Maritimes | Le Devoir


Dans sa chronique du samedi 15 décembre dernier, M. Konrad Yakabuski affirme que les provinces maritimes du Canada « se dépeuplent à un rythme tel » qu’elles pourraient être « mises sous tutelle par Ottawa ». N’en croyant pas un mot, je suis allé aux sources. Au cours des dix dernières années, la population des quatre provinces à l’est du Québec a augmenté de 2,1 %. Cette croissance va de 1,1 % pour la Nouvelle-Écosse à 5,2 % pour l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard.

À l’évidence, on ne saurait généraliser à l’ensemble des Maritimes la perte d’un peu plus de 4000 habitants (perte de 0,005 %) subie par le Nouveau-Brunswick entre 2011 et 2016. Si l’on cherche absolument un quelconque « dépeuplement » dans les provinces maritimes, c’est du côté de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador qu’il faudrait regarder pour la période 1991-2006 (perte de 63 000 habitants en 15 ans, soit –11,1 %). Bref, en ce qui a trait aux Maritimes, on ne saurait y voir ni un « dépeuplement » contemporain ni un « dépeuplement » récent et généralisé.


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115,000 without power in Maritimes as winds and rain lash region


Tens of thousand of people across the Maritimes are without power this morning after the region was lashed by strong winds and heavy rain.

New Brunswick has been the hardest hit, with NB Power reporting more than 94,000 customers in the dark after 100 km/h winds swept across the province Saturday and into today.

READ MORE: Wind, rainfall warnings in effect for much of the Maritimes

Wind warnings had been posted Saturday and Environment Canada said parts of the province could also expect 15 millimetres of rain.

Nova Scotia, where wind and rain warnings were also posted, was hit with similar strength gusts overnight and into this morning along the Fundy coast and over northern sections of Cape Breton.

Nova Scotia Power reported this morning that more than 18,000 of its customers were waiting to be reconnected.

All of Prince Edward Island was under a wind warning Saturday and by this morning more than 3,000 Maritime Electric customers were without power.


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Over 100,000 without power across the Maritimes after windstorm


Thousands of people across the Maritimes are without power after a windstorm swept across the region on Saturday.

Winds over 110 km/h hour knocked out power to 92,000 households in New Brunswick.

Over 18,000 customers in Nova Scotia and 3,000 in Prince Edward Island are also waking up without power on Sunday.

Many have been without power since Saturday evening. 

The Fredericton fire department received more than 100 calls overnight.

« Multiple, multiple power lines down, transformers on fire, trees on power lines, trees across the road, trees on vehicles. We’ve been pretty steady all night with that, » said Fredericton fire’s platoon captain, Peter McMurtrie.

Robert Duguay, a spokesperson for New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization, advised people to not approached downed wires on roads. Duguay also warned against using generators indoors.

Over 200 Nova Scotia Power staff are working across the province to assess the damage, said spokesperson Tiffany Chase. Chase did not have an estimate for power restoration.

The Confederation Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles, RVs, buses and motorcycles due to high wind speeds.

Concerns over wind also closed the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick near the Tantramar Marsh on Saturday night.

The highway has since re-opened, but the transportation department is asking drivers to stay off the road if they can. 

Part of Barrington Street in Halifax was closed on Saturday night after debris flew off a building under construction. The street has since re-opened. 

Winds remain strong in Newfoundland and Labrador, with gusts in parts of the region as high as 115 km/h. 

Ferry service across the region is cancelled.


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‘So thankful’: SD card found on P.E.I. contains Sask. couple’s honeymoon in the Maritimes


After losing a camera card full of photos of their honeymoon to the Maritimes more than two years ago, a couple in Saskatchewan will soon be able to relive their trip once again.

Heather Simonson, of Kerrobert, Sask., got married to her husband, James, in June of 2016 and the pair took to the Maritimes for a honeymoon of hiking, travelling and fine dining by the sea. 

After touring Nova Scotia, the couple skipped over to have a taste of Island life, taking photos along the way. But while in Summerside, they needed a new camera card to capture the last leg of their journey.

« We had picked up a new SD card at Walmart because our SD card became full, » Simonson said. So they popped out the old one and slotted in the fresh card.

And the old one?

« I asked my husband ‘Do you want me to hang onto that card?' » she laughed. « Because he’s known to be Mister Forgetful so he’s like ‘Oh no, I’ve got it.' »

‘I’m just so thankful that we’re gonna have these photos back,’ Simonson says. This is another photo from their they trip that wasn’t lost. (Submitted by Heather Simonson)

As it turned out, the card disappeared.

« We don’t exactly know how we lost it. We were staying in Summerside at the time when we realized we had lost it, » she said.

« We searched through our suitcases, we called the hotel we’d been staying at and we’d emptied out all our pockets and purses and we just searched high and low and couldn’t find it so we thought we’d lost it for good. »

Most of the lost photos were of their trip in Nova Scotia to Peggy’s Cove and around Cape Breton as well as a chunk of their P.E.I. trip to O’Leary, West Point, Summerside and around Prince County.

‘We were praying that we’d be able to find it’

Simonson said the pair was disappointed that the card was lost but thankful they at least had the photos from half their trip. They figured the card would be lost for good, but tried anything they could to get it back.

« We do believe in the power of prayer so we were praying that we’d be able to find it, or somehow it would get returned to us, » she said.

Most of the lost photos were of their trip in Nova Scotia as well as a chunk of their time on P.E.I. This is another photo they didn’t lose. (Submitted by Heather Simonson)

And it would be, as another visitor to the Island, from northern-eastern New Brunswick, found it.

Lucie Mallet, of Le Goulet, N.B., and her boyfriend were on P.E.I. shortly after Simonson was two years ago, she told CBC News in a French interview. 

She found the card while they were walking in the parking lot of a tourist spot, although she couldn’t remember which particular place. 

Mallet took the card home and put it in her computer. When she saw the photos of the young couple she knew they would want the photos back. So she took to Facebook, posting a photo of Simonson and her husband, saying she found it.

She had little hope, she said, but thought she’d give it a shot. Two years later it wound up working out.​

‘I started crying, I was pretty happy’

Just this week, after two years, Simonson thought she’d try once again to track down her lost photos, reaching out to several P.E.I. Facebook groups. 

Within the same day, a commentor on one of her posts helped track down Mallet’s Facebook post from two years prior — showing a picture of Simonson and her husband smiling.

« I started crying, I was pretty happy, » she said, seeing Mallet’s post of the newlyweds.

« She speaks French so we were only able to converse a little bit. »

We’re going to have to order in some lobster or something.— Heather Simonson

And now the family is having a « big celebration, » she said, as their SD card packed with honeymoon photos is on its way in the mail.

« We’re going to have to order in some lobster or something, » she laughed. « I’m just so thankful that we’re gonna have these photos back. It’s pretty special to have these back in our hands that’s for sure. »

In French, Mallet said by making Simonson happy, it made her happy.

Simonson said she wanted to return the favour somehow, but Mallet said she didn’t want anything because the true gift for her was seeing how happy she made the couple.

And Mallet hopes that if it ever happens to someone else, they do the same thing she did.

More P.E.I. news


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